23 April, 2013

Carbon Pollution Reduction Targets

In 2007, in the lead up to a Federal Election, the Garnaut Climate Change Review, led by Professor Ross Garnaut, was first commissioned by State and Territory Governments to conduct an independent study of the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy.

The Review's First Report was released on 30 September 2008. The Report recommended medium to long-term policies and some suggestions for Australia’s carbon pollution emissions reductions targets.

The review recommended that Australia should be ready to calibrate its emissions reductions proportionately to a global effort directed at less than the 2°C (or 450 parts per million concentrations of carbon dioxide equivalent) objective.

The key point in the First Garnaut Review Report  released in 2008, was that Australia should indicate its preparedness to play its full, proportionate part in an effective global agreement.

According the Garnaut Review, Australia’s full part for 2020 would be:
·                     a reduction of 25% in emissions entitlements from 2000 levels, or
·                     one-third from Kyoto compliance levels over 2008–12, or
·                     40% per capita from 2000 levels.
For 2050, reductions would be 90% from 2000 levels (95% per capita).

It was Professor Garnaut who suggested that if there was no comprehensive global agreement at Copenhagen in 2009, Australia should commit to reduce its emissions by 5% (25% per capita) from 2000 levels by 2020, or 13% from the Kyoto compliance 2008–12 period.

By 2011, both the Australian Government and the Opposition had each committed themselves to reducing Australia's emissions by 2020 by at least 5% (relative to 2000 levels), unconditionally, in the absence of any global agreement on emissions reductions.

The Garnaut Climate Change Review—Update 2011 released a series of papers in February and March 2011 addressing developments across a range of areas including: Update Paper 6: Carbon pricing and reducing Australia's emissions.

Garnaut indicated that Australia’s carbon pollution emissions reduction target will need to be revised upwards over time in line with international action.

The Climate Change Authority has commenced a review of targets for reducing Australia's carbon pollution by 2020 and beyond.

The Caps and Targets Review will recommend a target for reductions in emissions for Australia and a proposed pathway to that target.  As part of this Review, the Authority will also recommend annual emissions caps (or limits) for Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20.

The Authority has released an Issues Paper on the Caps and Targets Review and invited public submissions.  Submissions should be lodged by 30 May 2013.

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