Nov 10, 2014 - 6:30am
Much of the recent climate policy debate in Australia has been framed around our 2020 emissions reduction and renewable energy goals. While these goals remain a key credibility test of Australia’s climate change action, they are insufficient for stable economic policy, and are being overtaken by international policy developments and investment realities.
It is becoming clear that the UNFCCC meeting in Paris in December 2015 will likely conclude with a post-2020 framework of increasing emissions reduction commitments. Countries are likely to attach their new post-2020 commitments to the international agreement made at this time. It won’t be perfect and neither action nor ambition will end there. Country contributions will be continually reviewed and scrutinised. The new framework will likely also enshrine an ongoing cycle which includes countries increasing their emissions reductions contributions over time.
Before the next major UN climate negotiations in Lima this December, the Australian government should announce an independent, transparent domestic process to define our initial post-2020 target offer. In line with other major emitters, this offer should be made in early 2015.