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Australian climate move would turn climate target into emissions increase

13th November 2013

The Australian Government’s plans to dismantle the current climate legislation could lead to it increasing emissions in 2020 rather than meeting its target of reducing them by 5% from 2000 levels, the Climate Action Tracker said today.

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott introduced legislation into the Australian Parliament today, the Climate Action Tracker released a special briefing on what the repeals may mean, in scientific terms.

The Climate Action Tracker has rated Australia’s current target of a 5 percent emissions reduction by 2020 at 2000 levels as “inadequate,” and consistent with a global pathway heading to temperature rises of 3.5-4°C.

However, by dismantling this legislation and replacing it with the Abbott Government’s proposed “Direct Action” plan, Australia instead looks set to increase its emissions by 12% in 2020.

“Australia’s climate legislation was a milestone for the country and it had finally begun to turn a corner on climate change,” said Bill Hare, Director of Climate Analytics.

“The legislation would have bent the relentless upward trend of its emissions curve downwards, moving Australia onto the first step toward a low carbon, climate-safe future, and created the governmental machinery needed for upgrading action.”

“The proposed repeal will instead see a likely re-carbonisation of the power sector, the present machinery dismantled - and replaced by a climate policy that goes against the science.”

To read more, you can download the full policy brief here.