Australia to 'Fail' in Achieving Carbon Emission Reduction Targets Due to Shortfall

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Steam rises from the stacks of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant
Steam rises from the stacks of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant outside Point of the Rocks, Wyoming in this file photo taken March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Files REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Australia is expected to achieve less than a third of its target carbon emission cuts, according to research firm Reputex. The report may be a reflection of the country's climate change policy.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is attempting to undo what his predecessors have done to reduce carbon emissions. The Abbott government is moving to abolish the carbon tax and replace it with the Direct Action plan.

Reputex, a major carbon market analysis firm in Australia, said the Abbott government's proposed Emissions Reduction Fund is not enough to meet the country's target of cutting emissions to 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. When Australia misses its mark, it will also fail to meet its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

The report also revealed that Mr Abbott's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) will fall short when it begins in July with the government already facing a shortage of more than 300 million tonnes.

In another report, Australia continues to lag in the worldwide effort to reduce carbon emissions from new cars, according to a report by the National Transport Commission. In the Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Australian Vehicles 2013 report, the average carbon emission of the Australian car has dropped almost 10 years behind European standards.

The report said Australian-made cars have the same average emission output based on 2012 findings. The fleet average in carbon emissions fell 3.4 per cent in 2013 from 198.5 to 192 g/km. However, Australian standards were paler in comparison to the EU's average of 158.7 g/km of carbon dioxide in 2007.

Carbon dioxide levels in the northern hemisphere has surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in history. According to climate scientists, the global milestone was of "symbolic and scientific significance." Michael Jarraud, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), said greenhouse gas levels have been increasing by 2 PPM every year in the last 10 years.

Australia has been urged by International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde to continue being the "pioneer" in the ongoing climate change debate. 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 per cent in 2020.

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