Climate Action Tracker: Australia makes a big step in the right direction, but more needed to get on 2 degree C track

Australia’s new climate legislation is a historic breakthrough, but is still not stringent enough to help the world keep global warming to below 2 degrees C, according to a major analysis of the country’s climate actions. The analysis is the first in a series of full country analyses being undertaken by the Climate Action Tracker team.

Date01 December 2011

The report examines all sectors: electricity, industry, transport, agriculture, forestry and buildings and compares action against the CAT’s own long term low-carbon vision. It highlights that the new climate legislation provides a positive long term signal, but Australia still needs to enhance policies in all sectors to be on track for a 2°C pathway, especially the transport sector and supporting renewable energy in industry and buildings, where it has huge resources.

“After so many years of lagging behind the rest of the world, Australia has fundamentally changed the way it will tackle climate change. It has now set in place a legislative system that, if applied well and increased in stringency over time, can get it on the right track to a low carbon future,” said Bill Hare, Director of Climate Analytics.

He noted that it was a difficult starting point for Australia, which has world’s sixth highest per capita emissions. “It’s a classic example of the longer you wait to take action, the more difficult it gets.”

Download the press release, the full report and the executive summary here.

See also the webcast of the press conference.