Australia ratifies Paris climate change agreement

climate change, net-zero

The Federal Government has announced it has ratified the Paris climate change agreement, despite concerns of a withdrawal from US president-elect Donald Trump.

The agreement was struck 11 months ago and entered into force last week. It has been ratified by more than 100 countries and will see more than 170 countries submitting climate change pledges every five years, in a move to lower emissions.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg announced the ratification in a joint statement.

“Australia has a strong track record on international emissions reduction targets. We beat our first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes and are on track to meet and beat our second Kyoto 2020 target by 78 million tonnes,” the statement said.

“Ratification of the Agreement confirms Australia’s ambitious and responsible target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“This target is comparable with other advanced economies and will halve our per capita emissions making it one of the highest targets in the G20 on that basis.”

Speaking at an oil industry conference in May this year, Mr Trump vowed to cancel the Paris climate agreement once he takes office.

“This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use on our land, in our country. No way,” he said at the conference.

As president, Mr Trump would be able to cancel the executive order used by President Barack Obama to bypass the Republican-controlled US Senate.

The United States is responsible for almost 15 per cent of all global emissions.