Australia to miss Paris climate goal without action

SYDNEY • Australian business and industry leaders see current energy and climate change policies as insufficient to meet the country’s Paris Agreement targets, according to a survey by the Carbon Market Institute (CMI).

In the survey of 272 senior executives from across business sectors, 92% saw the current policy mix as inadequate to meet the minimum 26% cut in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

“There is considerable misalignment between business expectations and current government policies when it comes to effective climate action,” Peter Castellas, CEO of CMI, said in a statement. The group seeks to link businesses to opportunities in the carbon market.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he expects to meet the Paris targets comfortably, but has dropped plans to legislate the cuts amid government infighting that contributed to Malcolm Turnbull being ousted as leader by his own lawmakers in August. The new Energy Minister Angus Taylor has instead been tasked with the single aim of getting power bills down.

Opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten will this week outline plans for a 45% carbon reduction target, the Australian Financial Review reported yesterday. To achieve that, Shorten will also reaffirm the party’s goal of 50% of the country’s energy coming from renewables by 2050.

The CMI survey showed 82% of respondents favour setting a zero net emissions target for 2050. The International Monetary Fund has called for a “clarification” of Australia’s policies to help achieve its emissions targets and reduce uncertainty. – Bloomberg