Australia on track to meet Paris pact target by 2030

Sydney, Australia, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Australia announced on Thursday that it is on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 26 and 28 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels as established in the Paris Agreement, without using old carbon credits.

Emissions are forecast to be 436 million metric tons of CO2-e in 2030, which is 29 percent lower than the 2005 levels in accordance with the country’s Technology Investment Roadmap, a strategy to accelerate development and commercialization of low emissions technologies.

With these levels, Australia would beat the target set by the Paris Agreement, according to a report of this year’s projections published on the website of the Ministry for Energy and Emissions Reductions.

These projections do not include carbon credits from overachieving on targets in previous climate agreements that the government of Australia, one of the most polluting countries, intended to use either on a per capita basis or if its fossil fuel exports are taken into account.

“We have a clear plan to meet and beat our 2030 target and the updated projections reflect Australia’s strong performance,” said Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, whose government has been criticized for not having a clear climate policy.

Carbon credits are a mechanism, created under the Kyoto Protocol, that seek to encourage companies and government organizations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from industrial activities to reduce the effects of global warming.

However, critics say the measure does not serve to protect the environment and encourages speculation since the credits, the unit of which is equivalent to 1 ton of carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere, can be traded on the international market.

Taylor said that Australia’s reduction was largely due to the more than $5.3 billion allocated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government to new emissions-reduction measures over the last two budgets.

These measures include future technologies to lower emissions, create jobs, cut household costs, and improve the reliability of energy supply.

Morrison has promoted the export of fossil fuels as key to the country’s economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nairobi-based United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) indicated in its annual Emissions Gap Report 2020 that G20 countries are not “collectively” on track to meet their targets.

It also highlighted that the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Argentina, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey, are on track to meet their targets, but that Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea and the United States are not and urged them to take increased action.

Australia’s announcement came two days after a virtual meeting of international leaders convened by the UN along with the UK on the fifth anniversary of the signing of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement without enough being done to prevent a rise in the planet’s temperature above 1.5 degrees Celsius. EFE-EPA


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