What to expect when you’re expecting… the federal government to shift on climate any day now.

First let’s bring you up to speed…

Chart showing Australia’s performance against its previous targets and expected performance against Paris, as described in text. According to the most recent version of the the federal government’s emissions projections, Australia meets its first two goals under the Kyoto Protocol, but is expected to narrowly fail its goal under the Paris Agreement.
This is simplified for the sake of clarity. QELRC’s aren’t relevant to normal people. Don’t @ me. Data source: Australia’s Emissions Projections 2020
Bar chart showing Australia’s three commitments for the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement compared with the average commitment from our international peers after standardising reporting. Under the first commitment to Kyoto, Australia’s commitment is an increase of 57%, while our peers average a 6% reduction. Under the second, Australia’s is an increase of 38%, while our peers averaged a 20% reduction. Under Paris, Australia’s target is an increase of 7%, while our peers average a 52% reduction.
The peers chosen here are the 30 nations that were both listed in annex I of the UNFCCC and are members of the OECD today. There’s a Climate Council report coming very soon that dives deep into comparisons between these nations. (Data and sources: Australian and international emissions; KP1 targets; KP2 targets; 2030 targets)

This is important for Australia because, in 1990, national forestry and land clearing activities represented net sources of emissions. Reducing these activities from what they were in 1990 therefore counts as an emission reduction, without actually reducing direct emissions. [emphasis added]

Table showing the change in emissions over time in the land management sector, and every other sector. In short, while emissions from land management have gone from being Australia’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions to zero between 1990 and today, emissions from everything else has increased dramatically.
I’m using 2019 as a stand-in for ‘the present’ to avoid the misleading with the impact of COVID-19 on emissions. Data Source: Australia’s Emissions Projections 2020.
Bar chart showing Australia’s three commitments for the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement compared with the average commitment from our international peers after standardising reporting. Under the first commitment to Kyoto, Australia’s commitment is an increase of 57%, while our peers average a 6% reduction. Under the second, Australia’s is an increase of 38%, while our peers averaged a 20% reduction. Under Paris, Australia’s target is an increase of 7%, while our peers average a 52% reduction.

Australia’s abatement task to meet the 2030 target is projected to be between 56 Mt CO2-e (26% reduction) and 123 Mt CO2-e (28% reduction) over the period 2021 to 2030. This is equivalent to between 1.2% of the emissions budget (26% target) and 2.6% of the emissions budget (28% target).

When past overachievement is included, Australia overachieves on the 2030 target by between 403 million tonnes (26% target) and 336 million tonnes (28% target). Under a scenario aligned with the Technology Investment Roadmap, Australia is expected to overachieve on its 2030 target by 145 Mt CO2-e.

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