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Articles on Emissions targets

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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.
Scaling back coalmining is one way Australia could make big progress towards its emissions targets. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Report calls for emissions cuts, but plays down the opportunities

The Climate Change Authority has recommended Australia cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2000 levels by 2025. While sensible, the government is unlikely to accept, and the target misses bigger opportunities to cut emissions.
Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser says other wealthy nations have already pledged far deeper emissions cuts than Australia. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate Change Authority calls for 30% emissions cut by 2025

A report from Australia's Climate Change Authority recommends cutting greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2025 if the country is to be seen as a good global citizen in this year's climate negotiations.
UN lead climate negotiator Christiana Figueres (second from left) has been hailed as having the dynamism needed to drive the Paris talks. EPA/AAP

Why the Paris climate talks won’t be another Copenhagen

The much-hyped 2009 Copenhagen climate summit yielded only a flimsy accord. But, as Nick Rowley writes in part 2 of his three-part essay on the 2015 Paris climate talks, there are several reasons why this year won't see another flop.
Hopes for a singular breakthrough at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks were dashed, but that doesn’t mean the negotiating process isn’t making quiet progress. EPA/Henning Bagger/AAP

The Road to Paris: three myths about international climate talks

Hopes are high that a global climate deal can be reached in Paris this year. In part 1 of a three-part essay on the prospects for such a deal, Nick Rowley sets out three myths about the UN talks that need to be dumped before we go forward.
Countries are working towards meetings in Paris in November that could see the first global climate deal since the Kyoto Protocol. Taylor Miles/Flickr

Explainer: how countries could come to a global climate deal in 2015

Ahead of meetings at the end of this year in Paris, countries will submit draft contributions for a global climate deal. The goal: reducing greenhouse gases beyond 2020, and ultimately keeping global warming below 2C.
Treasurer Joe Hockey didn’t mention climate change in his speech on Australia’s prospects for 2055. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate is an intergenerational issue, but the report ducked it

Climate change barely rates a mention in the Intergenerational Report, despite the huge potential costs. Peter Christoff says the only way to overcome this short-sightedness is to end the politics and make the review independent.
To find out if the carbon price worked, you have to look at the electricity sector. Paul Hocksenar/Flickr

FactCheck: did carbon emissions fall faster before the carbon price?

Emissions fell by six times the rate in the five years before the carbon tax than they did under the carbon tax. – Environment minister Greg Hunt, The Guardian, January 17, 2015. Australia’s total greenhouse…
Handshakes as the Lima conference went into overtime to deliver an agreement. But there is still plenty of uncertainty about how next year’s Paris deal might look. EPA/COP20

Australia comes in from the cold as Lima deal leaves lots to do

The world is a step closer to a new climate agreement that will see all countries, not just developed ones, take action on greenhouse emissions after 2020. The two-week Lima climate summit, which ran two…
To match the US, Australia would have to increase its emissions reduction target to 25% below 2000 levels. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

FactCheck: are Australian and US climate targets the same?

If you use the full Kyoto period — 1990 to 2020 — the US is minus 5% and Australia is almost exactly the same. Environment minister Greg Hunt, Radio National, November 17. *We and the United States are…
Republican senator Mitch McConnell says the new climate deal will let China “do nothing” until 2030. Far from it. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS/AAP

FactCheck: does the new climate deal let China do nothing for 16 years?

“As I read the agreement it requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon emissions regulations are creating havoc in my state and around the country.” – US Republican Senate…

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