27 Apr 2016

WWF WELCOMES ALP CLIMATE PLAN, CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO MATCH IT

As the Great Barrier Reef experiences its worst coral bleaching event in history, WWF-Australia has strongly welcomed the ALP’s new Climate Change Action Plan, which was released today.

The plan is an important step towards a clean renewable energy transition, and Australia doing its fair share in the effort to limit global warming.

Today’s announcement follows last year’s important policy commitment from the Opposition to achieve net-zero pollution by 2050.

The Plan includes commitments to:

  • A pollution reduction target of 45% by 2030 (below 2005 levels);
  • A phase out of all Australia’s coal fired-power stations;
  • A doubling of energy productivity by 2030; and 
  • A “climate trigger” to allow the Commonwealth to regulate broad-scale land clearing.

WWF-Australia spokesperson Kellie Caught called on the Government to now meet and beat the Opposition’s plan.

“Global warming is cooking our Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Caught said.

“The only way we can prevent ongoing repeats of this heart-breaking devastation, is to show leadership on climate change.

“The ALP’s policy commitment to a 2030 pollution reduction target of 45% below 2005 levels, is significantly higher than the Coalition’s current target of 26-28%.  Adoption of a target in line with what the ALP has put on the table would take Australia from the back of the pack to a level comparable to other advanced economies such as Germany (45%), the UK (49%), USA* (38%) and Norway (44%).

“The ALP’s Climate Change Action Plan’s focus on the energy and land sector is a good choice as these two sectors provide the biggest opportunities for Australia to reduce carbon pollution, provide cleaner air, cleaner water, and a thriving environment.

“This plan would put Australia back on a pathway to a clean more sustainable future, and we call on the Government to now also step up to the plate.”

More will be needed

The Paris Agreement includes a goal to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C, but much of the modelling and analysis, including by the Climate Change Authority, will need to be updated to  include this goal..

What we do know is 1.5 degrees C will require all countries to do more, sooner and faster, including Australia.

“A recent ClimateWorks and WWF report showed that Australia is well positioned to make at least 50% cuts to our domestic pollution, and at least 65% with international offsets by 2030, while our economy still motors along at similar rates of growth we’ve enjoyed over the last five years,” Ms Caught said.

“WWF calls on the ALP to ensure that their slated 5 year reviews will focus on ratcheting up the  pollution targets, and accelerating the  renewable energy transition. This will put Australia in a stronger position to protect the people and places we love, and build a sustainable prosperous future.  

“WWF also calls on the ALP to use the upcoming federal budget to commit to a phase out of wasteful fossil fuels subsidies, and instead use the $7.7 billion plus savings per year to accelerate this Climate Change Action Plan.”

WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, 0432 206 592, drockett@wwf.org.au

* Based on a forward trajectory of its 2025 commitment.