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Australia is facing pressure to provide evidence that it will be able to meet its 2030 climate target, as concerns grow about the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The Albanese administration is preparing for a significant United Nations climate conference in Dubai, presenting proof that Australia is close to reaching its 2030 emission goal. However, there are demands for the government to take further action in regulating the nation’s fossil fuel exports.

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According to a preview of an upcoming report on emission forecasts, released by the Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowen, it appears that Australia is on track to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 2025.2

Reducing pollution to 42% of 2005 levels by 2030 is almost in line with the government’s goal of a 43% reduction.

The estimates are derived from an evaluation of implemented and declared measures, which include a revised protective system for industrial pollution, an extended financing program to achieve 82% renewable energy, and an ongoing plan for electric vehicles.

One year ago, the same examination indicated that the country was on track for a 40% reduction. The better situation may lead to debates that the government should raise its 2030 objective and establish a significantly more ambitious goal for 2035 in the upcoming year.

According to scientists, affluent nations like Australia should decrease their emissions by a minimum of 50% and potentially up to 75% by 2030 in order to contribute to the objectives of the significant Paris climate accord.

Bowen said the government was “getting on with the job, reducing emissions and reaping the economic opportunities of the clean energy transformation”.

According to him, the most recent predictions for emissions demonstrate our consistent stance that our goal of 43% reduction is both challenging and attainable.

This week, Bowen will present an annual climate change statement to parliament and release the Climate Change Authority of Australia’s assessment of progress towards emissions projections before attending the Cop28 summit in the United Arab Emirates.

The government is set to publish data on emissions from the previous fiscal year, which will cover their entire first year in office. It is predicted that the report will reveal a rise in pollution, largely attributed to the return of transportation pollution following Covid-related restrictions and an increase in agricultural activity.

The most recent record of emissions, covering March of this year, reported that Australia’s emissions have decreased by 24.4% compared to 2005 levels. This decrease was primarily attributed to a decrease in land clearing for agriculture and logging of native forests, which was mainly motivated by factors unrelated to climate policy. Emissions from fossil fuels and other environmentally harmful sectors of the economy only decreased by a small fraction of 0.9% since 2005.

Bowen’s recently published emissions projection snapshot presents two potential outcomes. The first, based on policies currently in effect, predicts a 37% reduction in emissions by 2030 for Australia. The second scenario, which takes into account additional measures that are still being developed and put into action, projects a 42% decrease.

2 by 2021.

According to the emissions projections report, Australia is projected to meet its climate pledge for 2030 even though it may not reach the 43% target. This is due to the international commitment being based on an “emissions budget” for the period between 2021 and 2030, rather than just the final year’s pollution levels. The report predicts that Australia will surpass its budget of 4,353m tonnes of CO2 by 2021.2 by 31m tonnes.

to be approved, and more than 1.5 million square kilometers of land have been leased for coal mining.

Additional coal mining has been authorized, and an area of over 1.5 million square kilometers has been allocated for the extraction of fossil fuels.

Despite the support of both federal and state governments for new and increased development of fossil fuels, primarily for exportation to Asia, Australia’s emissions projections have seen improvement.

A study requested by the Australian Conservation Foundation revealed that the fossil fuel export projects currently being considered by the Albanese government could potentially produce much higher emissions than the emissions reduction efforts within Australia by 2030.

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According to the report, 10 projects that were either fully or partially approved after the May 2022 election may potentially produce a total of 2.6 billion tonnes of emissions over their lifetimes if they are fully realized.

According to Kelly O’Shanassy, the ACF’s CEO, the government claims it is not accountable for emissions caused by burning Australian coal abroad. However, their choices are contributing to the issue of global warming. She believes that the government cannot be taken seriously in addressing the climate crisis if this trend persists.

According to her, the Albanese administration is truly making efforts to decrease carbon emissions domestically. However, they are also allowing for the continued and unlimited exportation of coal and gas to other nations.

The location of coal and gas burning is irrelevant. The use of Australian fossil fuels is intensifying the harmful effects of climate change, contributing to extreme heatwaves, wildfires, and coral bleaching.

This weekend, activists focused on disrupting the coal exports from Newcastle, which is known as the biggest port for coal in the world. The organizers aimed for this to be the largest act of civil disobedience in the country. On Saturday, hundreds of people on kayaks, surfboards, and small boats, including the leader of the Greens party, Adam Bandt, formed a blockade at the port.

According to experts, this year is projected to be the warmest on record. Unprecedented increases in temperature have broken previous records, causing extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods, and droughts. These occurrences, which align with scientific predictions, have resulted in loss of life and negative impacts on people’s livelihoods worldwide.

The United Nations issued a warning last week that the world is on track to experience a “hellish” 3 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures this century if swift action is not taken.

During a recent address to the Lowy Institute, Bowen acknowledged that the International Energy Agency had identified a potential peak in global demand for coal, oil, and gas in the coming decade. This is due to the increasing adoption of clean energy technologies and significant economic changes. He also stated that Australia will advocate for more robust measures to mitigate climate change at Cop28 and support a three-fold increase in renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030.

Source: theguardian.com