Australia Not Committing To 15% Carbon Emission Reduction Target Despite CCA Review

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By Reissa Su | February 27, 2014 7:21 PM EST

Australia's Climate Change Authority (CCA) has urged the government to triple its carbon emission reduction targets to combat increasing global temperatures.


An environmental activist places his hand on a giant globe in a rally demanding more action to battle climate change during the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The CCA released the findings of its Targets and Progress Review showing Australia needs to meet the 15 percent target of emissions reduction by 2020. The new target will surpass the current 5 percent commitment.

CCA Chairman Bernie Fraser said the emission reduction target was adjusted based on climate change predictions. Fraser added it was indeed a step up but the change is "doable." 

But despite CCA's report, the Australian government said it will not change its current carbon emissions reduction target. Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Coalition government is willing to meet a 5 percent target. Any changes to this figure will be up for review in 2015 in Paris for the global climate forum.

Australia has been urged by International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde to continue being the "pioneer" in the ongoing climate change debate. She spoke ahead of the G20 meetings and acknowledged Australia's effort in being at the "forefront" of climate change issues. She expressed concern about the country scrapping the carbon tax policy.

The IMF managing director said climate change issues are critical and should be considered "real."  However, Australia's Environment Minister Greg Hunt defended the government by saying climate change is an issue the country takes seriously and declared Australia is "on track" to reduce emission targets by 5 percent in 2020.

Hunt, supporting carbon tax repeal, said Australia will hit its emission targets "easily."  He once again criticized Labour's carbon tax for hitting factories, farms and factories. He declared it the policy simply does not do its job.

According to reports, Australia has the highest pollution per capita among developed nations with greenhouse gas emissions gradually rising to 30 percent since 1990. The increase has been attributed to its booming economy.

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An environmental activist places his hand on a giant globe in a rally demanding more action to battle climate change during the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
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