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First draft report of the Special Review: Australia’s future emissions reduction targets

The Climate Change Authority released the first draft report of the Special Review in April 2015. The draft report recommends emissions reduction targets for Australia and explains the Authority’s reasons. The Authority released its final report on targets on 2 July 2015, confirming its preliminary recommendations.

The Special Review is being conducted at the request of the Minister for the Environment. This first draft report of the Special Review is intended primarily as an input to the Government’s deliberations on emissions reduction targets. The Government has indicated it will announce Australia’s targets by mid-2015, well ahead of the international negotiations for a new climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.

The Authority recommends a 2025 target for Australia of 30 per cent below 2000 levels. The Authority considers this target is comparable to the efforts of other countries.

In recommending targets, the Authority attaches most weight to the science of climate change, the efforts of comparable countries to reduce their emissions, and Australia's own long term interests. In considering targets for the post-2020 period, the Authority has taken account of the uncertainty regarding Australia's action to 2020, and how quickly Australia might ‘catch up’ with global efforts.

The recommended 2025 target of a 30 per cent reduction by 2025 remains reasonable and achievable even if Australia does not strengthen its 2020 target beyond the minimum 5 per cent reduction. If Australia is able to do more than 5 per cent by 2020, this would allow a more gradual acceleration of effort beyond 2020.

The draft report builds on the Authority's 2014 report, Reducing Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Targets and Progress Review, released in February 2014. The Authority considers the recommendations in that report remain appropriate. These include a 2020 target of 19 per cent below 2000 levels, a 2030 range of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels, and a long-term emissions budget to 2050. These goals would help Australia make a fair contribution to global climate action to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees.

Figure 1 Targets, trajectories and national emissions budget

Figure 1 Targets, trajectories and national emissions budget

View submissions received.

Acting Authority CEO, Shayleen Thompson, presented the Authority's views on Australia's emissions reduction targets at a Grattan Insitute event on 29 April 2015. Slides, video and audio are available on the Grattan Institute website.

Following stakeholder consultations, the Authority released its final report on targets. This confirms its preliminary recommendations.

  • Final report on Australia’s future emissions reduction targets, July 2015 (DOC)(PDF)