UN: major emitting countries including Australia failing the Paris Agreement

SYDNEY, Saturday 27 February 2021 - Australia is among a number of nations that have failed to commit to addressing the climate crisis, according to a new report released by the United Nations today.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has tallied up each country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and found that the world’s current commitments ‘fall far short of what is required’ to tackle the climate crisis.

“Australia’s dangerously weak Paris targets are putting us on a path for more farm-wrecking droughts, more koalas being burned alive in catastrophic bushfires, and the irreversible destruction of more of the Great Barrier Reef,” said Dr Nikola Casule, Head of Research and Investigations at Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

The report finds that in order to keep within the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees, global carbon emissions need to decline by 45 per cent from the 2010 level by 2030. The current trajectory of global commitments will see emissions reduced by only 0.5 per cent by 2030.

“Australia’s current level of emissions reduction, if extrapolated across the whole world, would lock in up to 3 degrees of global heating. This would be disastrous for Australia and for Pacific Island Countries, which are already facing serious climate-driven impacts even at the present 1.1 degrees of heating.

“The fact that Australia has refused to submit updated climate commitments is not only giving the middle finger to all Australians feeling the impacts of the climate crisis, it’s giving a middle finger to the rest of the world.

“The worst of the climate crisis can be averted but to do that the Federal Government must bring a stronger commitment in line with the global 1.5°C target to COP26 in Glasgow later this year and develop a meaningful climate and energy policy that puts Australia on a clear trajectory to 100% renewable energy by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2040.”

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Access the UNFCCC synthesis report here