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Comparing countries’ emissions targets

In March 2015 the Authority released the Comparing countries’ emissions targets: A practical guide (PDF 467KB) | (DOC 129KB). This guide is to help Australians understand and compare post-2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets that will be announced over the coming year. The data underlying the charts in the report is available here (.xls).

The Authority’s first report of the Special Review, recommended future emissions reduction targets for Australia. In making these recommendations, the Authority considered how Australian targets compare to other countries’. The guide explains the criteria that the Authority uses for these comparisons and includes examples.

Post-2020 national emission reduction targets

This table shows the greenhouse gas reduction targets of different countries or regions, and the implied reduction in emissions in 2030. They include national commitments and international commitments through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Note that the US has proposed a 2025 target, and the UK has nominated a target for 2023-2027.

Country/region

Stated target

Change from 2005 in 2030

UK

50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2023-2027

-61 per cent

Switzerland

50 per cent below 1990 by 2030

-51 per cent

Germany

55 per cent below 1990 by 2030

-45 per cent

Norway

At least 40 per cent below 1990 by 2030

-44.5 per cent

US

26 to 28 per cent below 2005 by 2025

-35 to -39 per cent

EU

At least 40 per cent below 1990 by 2030

-34 per cent

Canada

30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030

-30 per cent

New Zealand

30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030

-30 per cent

Australia

26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030

-26 to -28 per cent

Japan

26 per cent below 2013 levels by 2030

-25 per cent

China

Peak CO2 emissions around 2030

60-65 per cent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 on 2005 level

+72 to +96 per cent

Republic of Korea

37 per cent below BAU by 2030

+1 to -5 per cent

Notes: Japan’s efforts to reduce emissions were dealt a blow by the Fukushima disaster—closure of all its nuclear power plants increased its reliance on fossil fuels. Change, except for Norway, is CCA calculation. China committed to peak its emissions around 2030, and to reduce emissions intensity by 60-65 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030; the range shown is an indicative estimate based on projected growth in China’s real GDP. Korea has committed to reduce its emissions by 37 per cent from business as usual levels by 2030; the range shown is an estimate based on its 2005 emissions including and excluding the land sector. The US figure is a linear extrapolation from its 2020 target through its 2025 target; the UK figure is a linear extrapolation from its 2020 target through the mid-point of its 2023-27 budget. Source: Authority observations on Australia's 2030 target.

Further information on targets submitted to the UNFCCC can be found on its website.