Articles on Emissions targets

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Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop at the last year’s Lima climate talks, where nations agreed new transparency rules over climate targets. DFAT

New UN rules put the spotlight on climate laggards to lift their game

Countries that drag their feet on climate action have fewer places to hide these days. Rules brought in at the 2014 Lima talks require them not just to set targets, but to publicly justify them too.
The US EPA’s Clean Power Plan will cut power sector emissions 32% by 2030. EPA/Justin Lane/AAP

Obama’s new climate plan is leadership fuel for other nations

President Obama's new targets for emissions from electricity are a crucial step towards a credible US climate policy. And where the United States leads, others are more likely to follow.
US President Barack Obama has unveiled the United States’ most comprehensive climate policy so far. EPA/Michael Reynolds/AAP

Obama takes ‘biggest step’ on US climate policy: experts react

US President Barack Obama's new climate plan aims to cut greenhouse emissions from the nation's coal-dominated power sector by 32% by 2030. Will it get through, and how will it affect this year's climate talks?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has suggested Australia has been true to its emissions reduction commitments but that other countries have not. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

FactCheck: has Australia met its climate goals, while other nations make ‘airy-fairy promises’?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described other countries' emissions reduction targets as "airy-fairy promises that never come to anything." How does that statement stack up against the evidence?
Business, environmental, trade union and social groups all see advantages in looking beyond high-emission industries such as coal-fired power. Nick Pitsas/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s ‘climate roundtable’ could unite old foes and end the carbon deadlock

The Australian Climate Roundtable unites business, environmental and social groups in calling for a strong climate policy. This unprecedented show of unity might even break down Canberra's climate stalemate.
The court ruled that Dutch citizens have a legal right to be protected from climate change. Moyan Brenn/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

What does the Dutch court ruling on climate targets mean for Australia?

For the first time, a court has ordered a government to strengthen its climate targets. It's a watershed, not just for the Netherlands but potentially for countries such as Australia whose targets have been criticised.
US domestic carriers won’t face emissions curbs until the rest of the world’s airlines do too. Lasse Fuss/Wikimedia Commons

Without a global deal, US curbs on airline emissions are hot air

Greenhouse emissions from the aviation industry are still largely unregulated. The prospect of regulations for US flights sounds like progress, but it won't happen without an elusive international consensus.
Last week’s G7 meeting showed that turning our backs on fossil fuels altogether is no longer a fringe idea. Michael Keppeler/EPA/AAP Image

We can quibble over timescales, but real climate progress is afoot

Advocates of climate action have been saying it for years - we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels completely. And now, the leaders of the world's richest countries have started saying the same.
Australia has faced tough questions over whether it is doing its part to cut greenhouse emissions. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia in the spotlight at climate talks, for all the wrong reasons

Australia's grilling by other major nations at this week's climate talks in Bonn show that it still has serious questions to answer over the scope of its greenhouse emissions-reduction targets.
More mines, more roads, as the government puts its drive towards economic development ahead of all else. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

There are no green shoots for sustainability in this Budget

Amid talk of paths to surplus and investing in infrastructure, both sides of politics seem to have forgotten Australia's longstanding responsibility to govern sustainably, and not just for the economy.
Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt at last year’s Green Army launch. Funding for the initiative has been slimmed down but is still more than A$700 million. AAP Image/Britta Campion

Federal Budget 2015 – environment experts react

The Federal Budget 2015 makes little mention of emissions reductions or renewable energy, but does feature funding boosts for drought assistance and the Great Barrier Reef. What else is in?
Nations need to focus on the global carbon budget, not on what their neighbours are doing. Andriano/Shutterstock.com

An objective way to decide on a fair Australian emissions pledge

Australia's emissions target will inevitably be compared with other leading nations. But a fair target should be calculated not on a basis of comparison, but on the world's shared 2-degree climate goal.
UN chief climate negotiator Christiana Figueres told a Melbourne conference Australia risks becoming an outsider at this year’s crucial Paris talks. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN/AAP

UN climate chief: other countries are ‘further ahead than Australia’

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has hinted that Australia risks becoming an outsider at this year's Paris climate talks if it doesn't match the ambition of many other countries' climate pledges.
The wrong track? The biggest emitters, such as power stations, were largely absent from the government’s first round of greenhouse reduction contracts. AAP Image/Dan Peled

On these numbers, Australia’s emissions auction won’t get the job done

Federal environment minister Greg Hunt has hailed the first round of Emissions Reduction Fund auctions as a "stunning result". But extrapolating the numbers puts Australia behind on its carbon targets.

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