PM: Australia will meet Paris target ‘in a canter’

Big Stick, climate, Ai Group

New figures released last week have show Australia’s national emissions are rising, casting doubt on whether the country will meet its Paris Agreement commitments.

The Australian Government set a target to reduce emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

However, the Department of Environment and Energy’s latest Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows there has been a 1.3 per cent increase in climate pollution in the year to March 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison claims Australia is on track to meet the target “in a canter”.

“I know people will want to use that one figure and ignore the fact that emissions per capita are at the lowest level in 28 years,” he told media.

“That electricity sector emissions are down 13.9 per cent, I think it is, on 2009, on the same figures. So people choose and pick their figures to make their political arguments.”

Mr Morrison said he was part of the government that set the target and he remains comfortable with it.

“We’ll meet up in 2030 and we can argue the toss then. None of us are Nostradamus on this but we have the policies in place and importantly, the technology, the demand management,” he said.

“All of these issues are pointing to that outcome. And so I’m comfortable with our 26 per cent. I was comfortable with it when we set it.”

Climate Council acting CEO Martin Rice said Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels have been consistently rising for three years, while the Federal Government had failed to roll out any credible climate and energy policy.

“The result of this inaction is Australia is now further away from effectively tackling climate change than ever before,” he said.

“The solution is clear. Australia must continue its transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technologies, through the rollout of strong and credible climate and energy policy.”