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.

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. 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. We are investing more than $1 billion over five years from 2015-16 to support developing countries, and integrating climate change action and disaster risk reduction across our entire aid program. 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.

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Last Updated: 27 August 2018