While Australia’s major trading partners – the UK, the EU and South Korea – up their climate game, the Australian Government is continuing its commitment to do the absolute bare minimum, putting Australians and the economy in harm’s way, says the Climate Council.
Under the Paris Agreement, all nations were requested to have increased their Paris commitment by the end of 2020. Australia has a woefully low target, and has no plans to change that having quietly resubmitted its 2015 targets to the UN late last year.
“The Federal Government’s new year’s climate resolution – a re-packaging of the same woeful 2030 target – is only adding fuel to our warming planet,” said Climate Council head of research, Dr Martin Rice.
“Right now, we are on track for catastrophic climate change. As we have seen with the Black Summer bushfires, and the third mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in five years any further warming is unacceptable,” he said.
“It’s equivalent to entering a sprint race with your shoelaces tied together,” Dr Rice said.
“The Federal Government seems determined for Australia to finish last, which is opening our economy to major international shocks and putting more Australians in harm’s way of escalating climate impacts.”
Dr Rice said a new year provided a new opportunity for the Federal Government to make a tangible climate difference – rather than relying on the rest of the world and state territory governments to pick up the slack.
“2021 must be a turning point for climate action. Failure is not an option,” he concluded.