Climate change

Australia is committed to taking strong domestic and international action on climate change. An effective long-term strategy to address climate change is a priority.

Australia has been working with other countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to deliver a new global agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015, which will apply to all countries from 2020.

In 2010, governments agreed that emissions need to be reduced to ensure global temperature increases are limited to below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. All countries, including major emitters, need to play a role in meeting this global goal. Australia is working towards an ambitious and durable agreement at COP21 that builds action by all countries towards the two degrees goal.

Ahead of the Paris Conference, UNFCCC Parties have been invited to submit indicative post-2020 targets, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Targets have been set by more than 150 countries (including all G20 countries). These targets represent around 90 per cent of global emissions, 96 per cent of global GDP and 95 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade. This covers significantly more than the Cancun Agreements (2010), under which 99 countries made pledges to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Australia is making a significant contribution to climate action. Australia has set an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, which builds on our 2020 target of reducing emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels. Australia’s targets will be achieved through a credible policy suite that is already reducing emissions, supporting technological innovation and expanding our clean energy sector.

Australia is supporting international efforts to act on climate change, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. We are delivering practical assistance bilaterally through our aid program and contributions to multilateral funds. Australia has committed $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund, and as Co-Chair of the Board, will help ensure support flows to the Pacific and other vulnerable developing countries.

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Last Updated: 10 July 2014
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