Australia’s climate action

Australia’s 2020 and 2030 emissions reduction targets

In 2010, Australia committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, equivalent to a 13 per cent reduction on 2005 levels.

In 2015, Australia announced a 2030 target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels. Australia submitted this target to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in August 2015 as our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Paris Agreement. This target is a strong, responsible and achievable contribution to climate action. It builds on Australia’s track record of addressing climate change and is consistent with strong economic and jobs growth.

Both targets are comparable to commitments from other major economies, including the United States, the European Union and Canada.

A UNFCCC Taskforce in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was established to coordinate a review of Australia’s emissions reductions targets ahead of the UNFCCC Paris Conference. The Taskforce undertook wide public consultations as part of its review and received 498 submissions.

For more information on the UNFCCC Taskforce and its report, please visit the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade commissioned independent economic modelling from McKibbin Software Group, led by internationally renowned climate change economist Professor Warwick McKibbin, to inform the Government’s consideration of Australia’s post-2020 target. The economic modelling can be downloaded at the following link: Economic modelling for Australia’s 2030 target.

Domestic Policy

Australia will meet its targets through our Direct Action policies, that reduce emissions, improve productivity, reduce costs and drive innovation. At the core of these policies is the Emissions Reduction Fund and its Safeguard Mechanism. This is complemented by a range of other measures including the Renewable Energy Target, energy efficiency improvement, the phase out of very potent synthetic greenhouse gases, and direct support for investment in low emissions technologies and practices.

The overall design of Australia’s 2030 target policy framework will be considered in detail in 2017–2018.

For more information on Australia’s domestic climate policy, please visit the Department of the Environment website.

Last Updated: 17 November 2015