It has asked whether Australia considers its emissions profile, which has seen pollution rise since the repeal of the carbon price, to be “on a structural path of decrease in line with its commitments”. It has also flagged fossil fuel exports and asked whether they are sustainable “in the context of Paris agreement”.
The energy and emissions reduction minister was referring to the Coalition’s 26%-28% emissions reduction target, a policy much less ambitious than the 45% target Labor took to the election and one that is not aligned with the ultimate aim of the Paris agreement, which is to limit global heating to no more than 2°C.
Australia had the world’s 15th largest greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 and its citizens’ per-capita contribution is around three times the global average. It is the world’s second largest coal exporter and recently became the top exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG). Its electricity system remains heavily reliant on coal, despite ramping up the use of gas and renewables, especially rooftop solar.
In his strongest comments to date, the Labor leader said over the weekend he recognised that other countries had resolved not to use the accounting system that allows countries to count credits from exceeding their targets under the soon-to-be-obsolete Kyoto protocol periods against their Paris emissions reduction commitments for 2030.
The IGCC, a group that represents institutional investors such as super funds, with total funds under management of about $2tn, has told its members Morrison’s “climate solutions package” won’t change the current trajectory of rising emissions because it is “small scale and unlikely to be a durable policy framework through time”.