Climate Change Authority Not Taken Seriously by Australian Government and Tony Abbott

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By Reissa Su | February 28, 2014 6:24 PM EST

Despite the Climate Change Authority (CCA)'s recommendation for Australia to triple its carbon emissions reduction target, Prime Minister Tony Abbott may be less likely to take the report seriously.

REUTERS
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses during the Commonwealth Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony in Colombo November 15, 2013.

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The CCA has recently released a report that the current carbon emissions reduction goal of 5 per cent is no longer enough for Australia. The climate agency said Australia should be aiming for at least 15 per cent by 2020. The target rate will increase to 19 per cent once the carry-over credits are included that has been previously set in the Kyoto Protocol.

Tony Abbott and the Coalition government has stated earlier that they have no plans of revisiting the subject of climate change and carbon emissions cuts any more than Australia has to.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt reacted to the CCA report and said the Abbott government will not revise its target of 5 per cent until 2015. Mr Hunt has routinely said he has accepted the fact that global warming is happening and that humans are mostly the cause.

The Australian government has previously said it will repeal carbon tax in July, following a statement based on new data on greenhouse gas emissions. The Coalition claimed that Labour's carbon tax was only causing "plenty of pain, with no environmental gain." Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap carbon tax and revisit renewable energy targets, according to an ABC report. 

During the elections in September 2013, Tony Abbott has promised to repeal the carbon tax if he becomes prime minister to boost the economy.

Increasing presence of greenhouse gases

The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased rapidly in 2012 compared to its average rise in the past 10 years based on a new report. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has broken records, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

The annual greenhouse gas bulletin released by the WMO in 2013 contains measurements of gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The report does not include gas emissions on the ground.  According to WMO, carbon dioxide is the most important gas that the organisation tracks. Half of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans remain in the atmosphere while the rest is used by trees, plants, oceans and land.

CCA Chairman Bernie Fraser said the emission reduction target was adjusted based on changes in climate change predictions which considers the presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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(Photo: REUTERS / )
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses during the Commonwealth Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony in Colombo November 15, 2013.
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