Climate change

Australia is committed to taking strong domestic and international action to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Our Foreign Policy White Paper recognises the challenges that climate change will increasingly present in the coming years, and the economic opportunities in the transition to a low emissions global economy.  Given the growing challenges to sustainable development presented by climate change, the White Paper also highlighted that responding to climate change will continue to be a priority for Australia’s development assistance.

An effective response to climate change requires collective action by all countries and sectors. Recognising this, Australia contributes to action under multilateral platforms including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Montreal Protocol, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization.

As chair of the “Umbrella Group” of countries, Australia played a constructive role in negotiations under the UNFCCC to reach the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, and the package of rules for its implementation at Katowice in 2018. Under the Paris Agreement, Australia has committed to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This builds on our target under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions by five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Independent economic modelling for Australia’s 2030 target, led by Professor Warwick McKibbin, is here.

Australia’s targets will be met through a comprehensive policy suite to reduce emissions, encourage technological innovation and expand our clean energy sector. More information about Australia’s domestic mitigation and adaptation efforts can be found at the Department of the Environment and Energy.

As well as acting at home, Australia is supporting other countries to reduce their emissions, build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Government is providing $1 billion in climate development assistance for developing countries from 2015–2020 from the Australian aid program. We have a particular focus on the Pacific, with a commitment of $300 million over four years for climate change and disaster resilience.

Australia is leading global partnerships to protect rainforests and marine ecosystems, and build capacity in measurement, reporting and verification.

Australia’s world-leading climate research capabilities continue to make globally recognised contributions to climate science, helping the world to understand the way the climate is changing and the impacts we need to manage.

In this section



Last Updated: 27 February 2019