Australia’s new Labor government upped its 2030 carbon-cutting goal on Thursday, putting the nation closer in line with other developed countries’ Paris climate-change promises.
Australia, one of the world’s largest per capita carbon emitters, vowed to the UN that it will reduce carbon emissions by 43 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, up from the previous conservative government’s aim of 26 to 28 percent.
“When I’ve spoken with international leaders in the last few weeks, they have all welcomed Australia’s changed position,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said after alerting the United Nations.
Australia, the world’s leading exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, was long considered as a slacker in climate promises under the previous government, with no clear energy and climate strategy to stimulate renewable energy investments.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison was chastised at last year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow for failing to announce a more aggressive emissions-cutting objective, while the United States, Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan all increased their promises significantly. more info
Canada aims to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, while the US aims to reduce emissions by up to 52%.
“For years, the Australian government told the world that was all too hard,” Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said at a televised press conference in Canberra.
“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,” Bowen added.
The attempt to reduce emissions more quickly comes as the nation faces a significant power crisis caused by scheduled and unforeseen coal-fired generator failures, which has increased demand for gas-fired production at a time when global gas prices have surged.
Bowen said that the crisis has underlined the need to accelerate, rather than slow down, work on the legislation required to attract greater investment in renewable energy.