Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia cannot pretend much longer that it is acting against climate change

Map Turnbull climateThe Paris climate deal has come into force – what next for Australia?, The Conversation, , 4 Nov 16   “………  From Paris to Australia Australia is expected to ratify the Agreement later this year. When it does so, it will be committing itself to regularly increasing its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, improve climate adaptation, and provide climate finance.

Like other nations, Australia will have to review and toughen its climate targets every five years, starting no later than 2020, and report back regularly on its efforts.

While Australia’s 2020 and 2030 emissions targets are seen as weak by international standards, doubts have still been expressed about the federal government’s ability to reach them.

Modelling suggests Australia’s emissions are projected to rise to 21% above 2005 levels by 2030 – rather than fall by the 26-28% proclaimed in its official target.

Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund has been criticised as being underfunded and focused on the wrong projects. Recent analysis of the contracts awarded through the scheme’s “reverse auctions” confirms that little real additional abatement has been achieved.

Moreover, likely future changes in land use and forestry (mainly reductions in land clearing) will be insufficient to achieve these goals in isolation or to contribute significantly to future ones. The current policy mix means that tougher – and perhaps even existing – national targets could only be met by buying international carbon credits.

In addition, Australia’s reports to the UN will have to reflect “environmental integrity, transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency in accordance to rules to be adopted by parties to the Agreement”. The transparency and accountability of Australia’s emissions reporting was recently questioned by the United Nations and by other parties to the Climate Convention. This too will have to improve.

Like other parties, by 2020 Australia will also be invited to provide the UN Climate Secretariat with a long-term low-carbon strategy to run until 2050. Designing an effective transition strategy will require extensive consultation with state and territory governments, industries, and other stakeholders. Such attention to detail, although essential for building wide and deep support for a future low-carbon economy, has so far been well beyond the ability of politicians stuck in Canberra’s toxic climate policy culture.

In all, the Paris Agreement, although voluntary, can be thought of as a global climate safety net held by all nations. This inclusiveness means that Australia will no longer be able to point to the absence of other states as an excuse for its recalcitrance. It will increasingly be held to account by other nations, and the need for meaningful action will become ever more irresistible, as the net gradually tightens. https://theconversation.com/the-paris-climate-deal-has-come-into-force-what-next-for-australia-68140

November 5, 2016 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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