Submission to the CCA’s consultation on setting, tracking and achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets
Our Sustainable Economy Program made a submission to the Climate Change Authority’s consultation on setting, tracking and achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets.
The focus of this submission is on the development of CCA guidance to the Federal Government for Australia’s next Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for 2035. Australia’s current NDC is set at an emissions reduction target of 43% below 2005 levels by 2035 and a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. Noting that faster decarbonisation is likely to provide a greater benefit to Australians, the submission recommends updating the NDC to set a whole-of-economy emissions target that includes:
- an upper bound that is as ambitious as possible, and potentially net negative
- a lower bound of at least an 80% reduction on 2005 levels by 2035
It suggests that the CCA should advise the Government to commence planning for a phaseout in fossil fuel production and export. The advice on the 2035 NDC should include Australia’s possible contribution to global emissions reduction through a large clean export sector.
Touching on findings from the program’s ‘Making Our Way’ report, the submission highlights that the CCA should assess the extent to which government policy is improving the “adaptive capacity” of fossil-fuel-exposed regions, including their economic diversity, when reviewing and measuring progress.
It also advises that, to the extent possible, the CCA’s advice about future policy trajectories should recommend measures that prevent (or compensate for) any increases in the proportion of income that low-income households spend on energy.
Finally, the submission notes that current Australian government procurement does not systematically incorporate climate-related considerations at all levels. This presents a significant opportunity to drive further decarbonisation and adaptation across the economy.