Sydney, Australia, Dec 1 (EFE).- Australia’s government said Thursday that after six months in power they have managed to push policies and measures to accelerate the country’s emissions reduction rate to 40 percent by 2030.
However, this figure still falls short of the government’s pledge to cut carbon emissions by 43 percent by that year.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen praised the work done by the current Labor government, which took power after winning the May elections, in a speech in parliament.
He highlighted the target set by legislation passed in September to reduce carbon emissions by 43 percent by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.
Bowen also took a swipe at the previous Conservative administration – which strongly backed the coal industry during its nine-year tenure -, for pledging only a 30 percent cut in emissions and for not prioritizing the fight against the climate crisis.
“We’ve lifted the outlook (for reducing emissions) by a third in just our first six months,” Bowen said while presenting Australia’s first national climate change statement.
During its electoral campaign, the Labor Party had promised to boost environmental policies if elected.
The statement was published together with the 2022 emissions projection report in compliance with the requirements set by the new climate change law.
The report, prepared by the Climate Change Authority, says that in order to achieve a 43 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, it is necessary for the decarbonization rate to be at least 17 million tonnes of carbon per year.
“There are some who call for more. I understand the sentiment and of course as we have said repeatedly, we see the 43 percent as a floor not a ceiling,” the minister said, in reference to more ambitious targets demanded by scientists and ecologists.
Australia, one of the world’s biggest polluters per capita, has in recent years seen devastating fires, floods, droughts, multiple coral bleaching events and extreme weather, among other natural disasters, which are expected to get worse due to the climate crisis. EFE