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The Economist this week has a sobering piece on the current state of global initiatives to address climate change. It opines:

“Yet as the impact of climate change becomes more evident, so too does the scale of the challenge ahead. Three years after countries vowed in Paris to keep warming “well below” 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels, greenhouse-gas emissions are up again. So are investments in oil and gas. In 2017, for the first time in four years, demand for coal rose. Subsidies for renewables, such as wind and solar power, are dwindling in many places and investment has stalled; climate-friendly nuclear power is expensive and unpopular. It is tempting to think these are temporary setbacks and that mankind, with its instinct for self-preservation, will muddle through to a victory over global warming. In fact, it is losing the war.”

The piece made me check-in on Labor’s climate change policy to ensure that a future Labor government will see Australia as a leader in addressing climate change. And with that, we all receive ecological, social and economic benefits.

Labor’s climate change action plan

The good news is that’s Labor’s climate change action plan is one of the most ambitious in the world and way ahead of many comparable nations. You can read about our climate change action plan here.

Labor’s plan covers six key elements:

  1. Leading Renewable Energy Economy
  2. Cleaner Power Generation
  3. Build Jobs & Industry
  4. Cut Pollution
  5. Capture Carbon on the Land
  6. Increased Energy Efficiency

So how does Labor we compare with the government and the major nations or blocs around the world? Labor has two key platforms to address climate change:

  • A Renewable Energy Target of 50 per cent by 2030.
  • An Emissions Reduction Target of 45 per cent by 2030 below (2005 levels).
  • A target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Emissions reduction

Labor’s Emissions Reduction Target (45 per cent down on 2005 levels by 2030) is the third most ambitious in the world amongst major nations and the same as Germany and Norway. It is more ambitious than the US, EU, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, China and Korea.  (Source: Climate Change Authority)

It is way ahead of Europe. Europe’s emissions reduction target is for a 34 per cent reduction from 2005 by 2030. Canada, a similar sized nation is aiming for 30 per cent.

The Turnbull Government’s target of 26-28 per reductions on 2005 levels by 2030. (Source: Department of the Environment and Energy)

Renewable energy

Labor has a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.

This is substantially more than Europe. European energy ministers in June 2018 agreed to a binding renewable energy target of 32 per cent by 2030, up from the previous goal of 27 per cent. (Source: Guardian)

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, based on current policies, the global renewable share is expected to reach just 21% by 2030. (Source: IRENA)

Labor’s fact sheet on its Renewable Energy Plan is hereThe Conversation had this commentary on Labor’s Renewable Energy Target.

New zero emissions by 2050

The Paris Agreement entered into force since 4 November 2016 has set ambitious global goals to avoid dangerous climate change impacts. These global goals include an emissions goal of net-zero emissions in the second half of the century, and two temperature goals: limiting global warming to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to 1.5 °C.  Nearly two hundred government’s signed up to this agreement.

Labor is committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2030. (Source)

All in all, Labor’s climate change action plan will see Australia meet its Paris Climate Agreement targets and receive significant ecological, social and economic benefits.

Updated: 6 August 2018


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