Sep 05, 2008 - 9:02amThe Climate Institute today called on the Government to reject the
Garnaut Review’s soft 2020 emissions reduction targets which, if
adopted, would effectively forfeit the chances of achieving the 450ppm
global solution that Garnaut himself admits is in Australia’s best
“Accepting the recommended 2020 targets of 5 or 10%
reductions would strip Australia of international credibility in global
climate talks and, if followed by other major polluters, would lock us
into a highly dangerous world of climate change,” said John Connor,
Climate Institute CEO.
“Professor Garnaut’s report highlights
that it is in Australia’s interest to see major reductions in global
emissions towards a level of 450 parts per million, which on his
calculations, would see domestic reductions of 25% by 2020. However the
Garnaut Review ‘reluctantly concludes’ that the 450ppm target is ‘not
possible at this time.
“It is a prematurely bleak and defeatist
view from Garnaut Review and appears to overlook the fact that Australia
can be a very influential player in global negotiations.”
this week The Climate Institute released modeling that showed it was
both affordable and achievable to make a 25 per cent reduction in
emissions by 2020.
“International climate talks are entering a
critical phase with other countries looking to the Australian
Government to help deliver an effective and ambitious global agreement.
To follow Professor Garnaut’s cricket metaphor, we shouldn’t walk off
the pitch when the test match is still under way,” Mr Connor said.
The Review recommended a target of a 10% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020.
others follow our poor example we would be complicit in leading the
world toward 550ppm with severe impacts on Australia - loss of the Great
Barrier Reef as we know it; up to a 40% decline in Murray Darling River
flows, and a 50-95% chance of turning the Amazon rainforest into a
major source of pollution,” Mr Connor said.
“The view that
somehow the world could return to a 450ppm pollution level, after
heading towards 550ppm levels, has an extraordinarily short shelf life
and appears fundamentally flawed beyond 2015, a time at which the global
climate scientific body, the IPCC says was the latest time at which
global pollution levels would need to stop rising to achieve 450ppm.
needs to be able to convince other nations it is contributing to a 25
to 40% reduction in emissions, needed from developed countries as a
group, and should set domestic targets of at least a 25% reduction on
1990 levels by 2020. The Garnaut Review’s modeling shows a reduction in
GDP of only 1.6 per cent if Australia was to achieve this target as part
of the global response. The Government should stay on the pitch and be a
positive player towards the target of 450ppm, a target which requires a
small investment in slowing our GDP growth. In reality, taking a strong
target will mean Australia having to wait only an extra eight months in
2020 to achieve the same level of wealth that would have been achieved
if no action was taken – a small price to pay to save the Great Barrier