Australia lifts Paris Agreement target to 43% by 2030

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen standing beside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Paris Agreement)
Image: Canberra Times

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, along with Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, yesterday announced they had written to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, to convey Australia’s enhanced 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

“Today, Australia turns the climate corner,” Minister Bowen said.

“For years, the Australian Government told the world that was all too hard. Well, the Albanese Government today sends a very different message.

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“We’ll provide the framework for renewable energy for storage and transmission, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, and particularly in Australia’s regions. We send the message to the rest of the world, to our friends and allies, that we’re partners in tackling the climate emergency. We send the message to Australians that we seek to end the climate wars, as the Prime Minister said. Representatives of business and the unions, representatives of energy users and energy providers.

“At the moment, we are facing, as you know, a very serious and challenging situation in the energy market, what some would describe, I think accurately, as a crisis setting. That makes this work more important, not less, setting the framework for the future, getting the investment going that has been so lacking, getting the policy framework working together with the states and territories to get the job done. A decade of denial and delay is a decade too long. We have drawn a line under it and we are getting on with it.”

Clean Energy Council CEO Kane Thornton welcomed the decision to raise Australia’s Paris Agreement commitment.

“The signing of Australia’s new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is a significant step forward for our country’s emissions reduction journey,” he said.

Thornton said that Australia’s new 43 per cent emissions reduction target for 2030 not only gives the green light to renewable energy investors but also sets about righting an embarrassing chapter for the country on the world stage.

“Today’s formal agreement provides clarity and a positive investment signal to accelerate the decarbonisation of Australia and take advantage of the enormous economic opportunity in play,” he said.

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“The Clean Energy Council’s last edition of the Clean Energy Outlook – Confidence Index revealed that 79 per cent of investors said an improved 2030 emissions reduction target would increase their confidence for future investment.

“The current crisis in the National Energy Market has clearly illustrated the perils of dragging our feet on energy policy,” Thornton said.

“Our ageing coal-fired power fleet and transmission network is not fit for purpose and are now failing Australian businesses and households.

“A 21st-century economy needs a modern electricity network that supports reliability, security and lower emissions technologies, and delivers low-cost energy to consumers. Today gets us closer to that goal.”