« Back to Publications

Yes, Australia can beat its 2030 emissions target. But the Morrison government barely lifted a finger

Bill Hare writes in The Conversation (16.10.21) about the federal government’s shortcomings in reaching Australia’s emissions targets, arguing that the states have been responsible for efforts to reduce our emissions to this point.

‘With just over a fortnight until world leaders gather in Glasgow at a make-or-break United Nations climate conference, all eyes are on the biggest climate laggards, including Australia.

‘Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to claim Australia will “meet and beat” its current 2030 target of reducing emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels. But unlike many of his international counterparts, he has so far resisted increasing the 2030 target.

‘In a report released today, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, our team at Climate Analytics conclude Australia will indeed beat its current 2030 target. We project Australia’s emissions are likely to be around 30-38% below 2005 levels by 2030.

‘Our analysis shows almost all the emissions reductions will be the result of state government policies, and will have virtually nothing to do with the federal government. It also suggests that, given the almost total absence of substantial federal climate policies to date, Australia can do a lot more.’

The Nationals finally agree to a 2050 net-zero target, but the real decisions on Australia’s emissions are happening elsewhere

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (24.10.21) that, regardless of deals brokered between the federal Coalition parties, the real decisions on Australia’s emissions reduction are being made by state governments and civil society, or outside the country altogether.

‘The National Party on Sunday agreed to a plan to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, clearing the way for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce the target ahead of the Glasgow climate summit.

‘The exact terms upon which the Nationals will give their backing are not yet known. But for Nationals MPs to have withheld support for the target for several weeks, with all the political damage that entails, makes little sense.

‘The Morrison government, partly through its own doing, has almost no control over Australia’s emissions trajectory. The real decisions on that are being made elsewhere – by state governments and civil society, or outside the country altogether.

‘Morrison’s last-minute reach for a 2050 net-zero target is almost entirely symbolic, as was the Nationals’ resistance to it.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.