UPDATING THE CLIMATE CHANGE AUTHORITY’S 2014 EMISSIONS REDUCTION TARGETS
CLIMATE TARGETS PANEL, JANUARY 2021
ABOUT THIS REPORT
The Secretary General of the United Nations has made it clear that the world’s current greenhouse reduction pledges are not enough to limit global warming to well below 2°C, the goal of the Paris Agreement, and has beseeched the parties to the Paris Agreement to more rapidly cut pollution.
United States President Joe Biden has signalled that he will hold a global summit in the first 100 days of his presidency, at which he will ask countries to do more.
Later in 2021, countries of the world will meet at the next global climate summit, the Conference of the Parties, where they will be asked to lift their emissions-reduction ambitions.
To do its fair share and to be compliant with the goals of the Paris Agreement, Australia must increase its emissions reduction targets.
Australia’s own Climate Change Authority (CCA) produced a key review in 2014, which set out the targets Australia needed to follow to help limit global warming to less than 2°C.
Since then, the CCA has not updated this research.
Emergencies test governments, organisations and individuals. Although Australia’s prompt, science-led response to COVID-19 has not been perfect, it has saved tens of thousands of lives. But for decades, governments have ignored, ridiculed or understated the advice of scientists on the climate emergency.
Now, in the wake of the megafires of 2020, a time of reckoning has arrived. InThe Climate Curerenowned climate scientist Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.
Flannery demands a new approach, based on the nation’s response to COVID-19, that will lead to effective government policies.The Climate Cureis an action plan for our future. We face a fork in the road, and must decide now between catastrophe and survival.
Tim Flanneryis a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum, Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, and Panasonic Professor of Environmental Sustainability, Macquarie University. His books include the award-winning international bestsellerThe Weather Makers,Here on EarthandAtmosphere of Hope. Flannery was the 2007 Australian of the Year. He is currently chief councillor of the Climate Council.
‘No one tells it better than Tim Flannery.’David Suzuki
The authors of the current paper, the Climate Targets Panel, have prepared this report to ensure that debate about the targets Australia takes to these upcoming summits to meet the Paris Agreement 2°C goal are informed by sound science and policy.
The Climate Targets Panel is an independent group of Australia’s most senior climate scientists and policymakers who have come together for the purpose of ensuring that debate about Australia’s emissions reductions targets are informed by sound science and policy.
Concerned that the federal CCA has not published any comprehensive analysis of Australia’s climate targets since 2014, but given that Australia’s climate targets will be a focus in 2021, this ad hoc group has come together to update the CCA’s 2014 analysis to help inform the Australian debate.
John Hewson AM, Professor Will Steffen, Professor Lesley Hughes and A/Prof Malte Meinshausen