Australia has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. Current commitments are still incompatible with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century and should be considered a minimum cut to meet our Paris Agreement obligations with deeper cuts in emissions urgently needed.
To surpass current commitments, Australia must embrace technology-led decarbonisation targeting our highest-emitting sectors. This will require concerted efforts across Federal and state governments to make deep cuts in the highest emitting sectors of the Australian economy. ATSE recommends the following to the Climate Change Authority to inform its advice on setting, tracking and achieving emissions reductions targets:
Recommendation 1: Set a more ambitious emission reduction target for 2035 in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, with yearly transparent public reports on progress to this target.
Recommendation 2: Support and boost funding for targeted research development and demonstration of low and negative-emission technologies.
Recommendation 3: Create and apply a regulatory framework for appropriate emissions monitoring and verification requirements.
Recommendation 4: Identify and assist in the execution of initiatives to minimise sectoral emissions.
Recommendation 5: Prioritise inclusive stakeholder engagement and public participation when developing climate policy to identify and address adverse social impacts.
Recommendation 6: Embrace the use of open data, and sophisticated analytics tools, in planning for, tracking and assessing emissions reduction.
Recommendation 7: Establish a national skills taxonomy to facilitate consistent communication regarding workforce needs required by the clean energy sector.