The Turnbull government’s new policies to limit emissions are bad for Australia’s climate, the UN’s chief climate negotiator says.
“Australia is one of the few developed countries where emissions are not expected to peak until around 2035 and will not reach that peak until 2030 at the earliest,” UN special rapporteur for climate change, Kumi Naidoo, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The UN’s climate chief has been warning for some time about the consequences of Australia’s proposed emissions reduction targets for 2030 and beyond.
Naidoos statement comes as the Turnbull government unveiled its new emissions reduction target and its Climate Change Action Plan on Tuesday morning.
The new policy, announced on Tuesday by Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, aims to reduce emissions by 15 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020 and 2040, to 31 per cent by 2030 and 31 per the end of the decade.
The Government will also cut carbon emissions by $100 per tonne of CO2 from 2030, compared to the previous emissions reduction plan.
The government will also halve the coal sector’s emissions by 2030, and will continue to phase out the burning of coal in electricity generation, mining, transport and manufacturing.
It is aiming to cut emissions by 2040 by 33 per cent.
Nettles says the Turnbull Government has been trying to use climate change as a political weapon against Labor and the Greens, arguing the targets would not cut emissions.
“If you are a Coalition party and you think the climate is changing, and you are not in favour of the emissions reduction, then they can do that,” he said.
“And they have done so, and they have tried to use the climate as a weapon against the Labor Party, against the Greens.”
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are expected to continue to rise and the Government is already using the targets as a way to slow down climate change.
The National Greenhouse Gas Initiative (NGGI) and the Australian Carbon Tracker project will continue tracking emissions from major industries.
But as the new targets are set to be rolled out, many other countries are considering similar actions, with the United States and Europe following suit.