In the few months that it has been in power, the Morrison government’s consistent and glib message on climate change has been: a) Australia will meet its Paris climate targets “in a canter;” and b) To pursue a more ambitious emissions target would be economic and energy market “madness.”
Neither of these things are true – as study after study has shown. But in case that is not clear, a new international report has published a number of helpful graphs that put Australia’s poor performance on climate energy low-carbon energy transformation in stark relief.
The Brown to Green Report, billed as the world’s most comprehensive review of G20 climate action – is put together annually by experts from 14 research organisations and NGOs from the majority of the G20 countries.
The 2018 edition of the report covers 80 indicators on G20 country mitigation action, finance and vulnerability, for the purpose of informing policy makers and stimulating national debates.
And here’s what it says about Australia…
“The latest projection published by the government shows that emissions are still expected to grow, instead of leading to a reduction in line with the 2030 target.
“Australia’s level of ambition on climate action is such that – if followed by all other countries – would lead to global warming of between 2°C and 3°C.”
Australia’s per capita emissions are much higher that most other G20 nations, in all of the key industry sectors – and especially transport. But as you can see in the above chart, our energy sector is by far the biggest contributor, and (as the charts below show) it is also the sector that offers the greatest opportunity to make deep – and cheap – cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
And finally, Australia’s federal policy guiding the low-carbon transition and climate action is rubbish. This is particularly the case in the energy sector, in which, as the report points out, “there are virtually no policies apart from the renewable energy target, which will expire in 2020 and, according to current plans, not be replaced.”