Australia's new climate pledge to UN criticised for not improving on 2030 target

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) and Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor. A photograph of Scott Morrison giving a presentation, with Angus Taylor standing behind him to his right.
5 January 2021

Australia has formally updated its United Nations climate policy without fanfare and without any improvement to its 2030 target to cut emissions, sparking criticism from Labor, the Greens and climate policy experts and campaigners.

Repeating language heard frequently in recent months, the document, submitted to the United Nations on New Year’s Eve, says Australia will “meet and beat” its declared 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels.

“This target is a floor on Australia’s ambition,” the update to Australia’s UN pledge – known as a National Determined Contribution (NDC) – states.

“Australia is aiming to overachieve on this target, and newly-released emissions projections show Australia is on track to meet and beat its 2030 target without relying on past overachievement.”

The reference to “overachievement” is another public declaration the Morrison government has now decided it won’t use the controversial carryover credits from previous UN agreements.

Read the full article on The Guardian website, featuring commentary by Prof Frank Jotzo