Sydney, Australia, Jun 16 (EFE).- The world’s largest coal exporter, Australia, submitted an “enhanced” emissions reduction target to the United Nations on Thursday.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a target to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030 with respect to the 2005 levels, a more ambitious target than the 26-28 percent target set by the previous government.
The Australian commitment under the Paris Agreement also reaffirms its objective of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, according to the document signed on Thursday by Albanese.
The new commitment surpasses the earlier target set in 2015 by the Liberal-National coalition, which pledged last year to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 following intense international pressure.
“For years, the Australian Government told the world that was all too hard. Told Australians it was too hard. Told the world that Australia wasn’t up to it, and wasn’t up for it. Well the Albanese government today sends a very different message,” Climate Minister Chris Bowens told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
With the announcement, Labor fulfills one of its campaign promises of stronger measures against climate change and an end to political battles around the issue.
Australia’s new commitment has been backed by representatives of various mining and industrial sectors after almost a decade of clashes regarding measures to tackle global warming.
“The thing with climate action is it’s all about the short-term capital investment that’s required, but then you get the long-term benefit. Because the cheaper, cleaner energy flows well into the future. And that’s what sets Australia up for a prosperous future. A future powered by cleaner, cheaper energy,” Albanese said.
However, some climate experts believe that the government of Australia, which is facing an energy crisis, should take more drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that global warming does not exceed 2°C.
Australia imposed a tax on the country’s biggest polluters, including mining and energy companies, during the last Labor government’s term, but it was struck down by former prime minister Tony Abbott’s government shortly after taking office in 2014. EFE