Sep 21, 2014 - 12:40pm
New York: Australia should share its timeline and process for setting post 2020 emissions reduction goals and restate its support for the international goal of avoiding 2°C warming at Tuesday’s UN Climate Summit in New York, The Climate Institute said today.
“This UN summit is an important opportunity for Australia to show that it is going to be a full and fair participant in international climate efforts,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute, from New York.
“We will be looking for a recommitment to the international goal of avoiding 2°C warming and an independent, transparent process and timeline for new post 2020 targets, which Australia is due to indicate to other countries next year.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop will be joining other world leaders and senior representatives at the summit called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Leaders of over 120 countries will address the summit.
In December last year, Australia supported an agreement to share an indicative national commitment to post 2020 goals well in advance of the Paris climate negotiations at the end of 2015. Most other major economies have acted on this, but Australia is yet to share any details of its process and timelines.
“Now is the time for Australia to come clean on its commitments. Will the Government going to be fair dinkum about these climate negotiations, or will they be playing poker with the planet’s wellbeing?”
“It is also time for Australia to make clear it is serious about the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2°C warming. This means we need to reduce emissions by around 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2030 and make the Australian economy carbon neutral, or decarbonised, by 2050.”
“Decarbonisation is an imperative if Australia is to avoid the economic and human costs of climate change. It should be a more explicit part of policy setting from international commitments to domestic policy, such as energy. This is very good reason not to backslide on the Renewable Energy Target, for instance.”
“The need to decarbonise also means that delaying emissions reduction will only make the cost higher, but will also mean lost opportunities if Australia clings to its current high carbon trajectory.”
“The UN Climate Summit is not only being addressed by political leaders but also by leaders from business who recognise that fair, high-quality growth can no longer be sustained unless climate risk is addressed, and who see the opportunities in doing so.
“The Government is rightly concerned about future financial debts but these include climate debts that will grow with inaction and debts from lost opportunities as countries, companies and investors turn to cleaner, more sustainable, economic prosperity,” concluded Connor.
Connor will be participating in the New York Climate March and will be there for the week of the summit, which also includes over 100 events showcasing national, subnational, corporate, and investor climate action.
For more information
Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299