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Labor commits to ambitious emissions target

Australia now has a more ambitious, emissions target after it was submitted to the United Nations on Thursday, fulfilling an election promise by the new government

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese raised the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target to 43 per cent, saying it “sets Australia up for a prosperous future, a future powered by cleaner, cheaper energy”.

It’s not as big as the original pre-election promise that was endorse by business groups. The Business Council of Australia wants 46-50% by 2030 and the Australian Industry Group wants a 50%.

The Climate Council has asked that policies be fast tracked to begin rapid reductions this decade.

The 2030 target will still need to be strengthened if it is to align with the goal of the Paris Agreement to hold warming well below 2oC.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen says “A decade of denial and delay is a decade too long,”

“We’ve drawn a line under it, we’re getting on with. That is what we were asked to do by the Australian people.”

Mr Albanese said investment in renewables was also the path to solving the nation’s energy crisis, which has threatened rolling blackouts on the east coast. With the right incentives and support, Australia could become a leading producer and exported of renewable energy.

One of the key levers the new government intends to use to lower emissions is to set an emissions cap on big polluters, requiring them to pay to offset their emissions if they go over. This will also encourage investment toward low emitters and carbon capture projects.