Progress in Lima puts spotlight on Australias post-2020 targets Media Release

Dec 14, 2014 - 6:00pm

Progress at the Lima climate summit puts the spotlight back on the post 2020 target Australia will develop early next year, and highlights that science and a broader view of Australia’s national interest must be considered, The Climate Institute said today.

“Australia will make new post-2020 international climate commitment early next year,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute. “This will now include an expectation to reference international agreed warming goals, detail how it is 'fair and ambitious', and should take a view of the national interest that extends beyond the views of a narrow set of highly polluting industries.”

“All countries should have done more in Lima, but they have done enough to put a focus on the government’s resolve to consider dangerous climate risks seriously and test if it can look beyond a future where our nation remains dependent on outdated polluting technologies."

Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute who has been in Lima for the talks, said: “Countries have set the standard that when nations announce their new post-2020 emission targets early next year there show the international community how it is a fair
contribution to avoiding a 2ºC increase in global temperature."

Australia - along with over 190 countries - recognises the need to limit warming to less than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels (1880s).

The Climate Institute’s analysis of Australia’s fair contribution suggests this would require Australia to reduce emissions by 40 per cent on 2000 levels by 2025.  The Climate Change Authority’s past analysis suggests 30-40 per cent emissions reductions over the same time frame.

Using a 2005 baseline, as the government has been recently doing, would see 35-45 per cent emissions reductions from this year by 2025.

Jackson said: “Australia’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund and flexibility on legal form was welcome. However, the posture of the government at the moment appears to seek to minimise the imagined threats to major polluting businesses. This is blocking it from seeking economic opportunities in renewable energy and climate solutions that could maximise it influence in climate negotiations as we head to Paris next year.”

“The negotiations in Lima were stormy, technical and challenging. The outcome is not perfect, but progress was made. Central to this is a need for transparency when countries advance their post-2020 targets as well as an expectation for commitments on efforts to improve climate resilience and support low carbon development in poor nations."

A table of the key outcomes from the Lima climate summit can be downloaded by clicking on the link below. 

The Climate Institute's daily updates and other COP-related content can all be found here

For more information

Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, 02 8239 6299

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