Australia’s ambitious 2030 emissions target to UN

On June 16, 2022, new centre-left government of Australia submitted more ambitious emissions targets to United Nations in order to end foot-dragging on climate change.

Highlights

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has increased Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 43 percent, against previous target of 26-28 percent.
  • New goal of Australia sets it up for a future powered by cleaner, and cheaper energy.

Background

Australia is replete with fossil fuel deposits. It is one of the top exporters of coal and gas in world. Coal plays a significant role in domestic electricity production in Australia. On the Green Future Index 2022 by MIT, Australia was ranked at 52nd out of 76 nations. This index provides ratings on how much nations are shifting towards environmentally sustainable economy.

Greenhouse gas emissions by Australia

In Australia, Greenhouse gas emissions had reached to 533 million tonnes CO2-equivalent, as of 2019. It represents per capita CO2e emissions of 21 tons, which is three times of the global average. Coal contributed in 30% of emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory estimates till March 2021 were 494.2 million tonnes, which is 5.3%, less than 2020.

Uses of Coal in Australia

Australia uses coal power for electricity. It accounts for 66% of grid-connected electricity generation in 2020. However, it is rapidly decreasing as a result of growing share of renewables in the energy supply mix. Most of the existing coal-fired power station is likely to cease operation between 2022 and 2048.

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