15 Dec 2017


WWF-Australia today congratulated Origin Energy for becoming the first Australian company to have its carbon emissions reduction target validated as “science-based” by the international Science Based Targets initiative.

The Australian-first targets positioned Origin as a taking a significant step ahead of other players in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

“It means that Origin has made a major public commitment to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius,” said WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman.

Central to Origin’s plans to achieve its target of halving emissions by 2032 is growing renewables, with a target of more than 25% of its generation mix by 2020, and the closure of its only coal plant, the Eraring Power Station in New South Wales in the early 2030s.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets are considered “science-based” if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

To achieve “science-based” status proposed targets are independently validated against stringent criteria by the Science Based Targets initiative which is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and is one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments.

So far 327 companies across the world have committed to set science based targets of which 86 have already had their targets independently validated as “science based”.

“Origin’s leadership demonstrates again that big business is ahead of the federal government on making a serious commitment to reducing Australia’s emissions,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“The federal government should use the opportunity provided by Origin’s target and AGL’s closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station in 2022 to ensure the proposed National Energy Guarantee enables the phasing out of coal power in Australia and set a target of 100% renewable electricity by 2035."

“The government should also join the new global alliance to phase out coal, known as the 'Powering Past Coal' initiative, launched by United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Canada and 15 other countries during the Bonn climate talks earlier this month,” he said.