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Report: Tracking Progress to Net Zero Emissions

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Australia is not yet on track to meet its emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement but there are many opportunities to still get there, according to new research by ClimateWorks Australia.

The ClimateWorks Australia report, Tracking Progress to net zero emissions, found Australia needed to double its emissions reduction progress to achieve the federal government’s target of 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and triple progress to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The report found Australia’s emissions were 11 per cent below 2005 levels in 2017 but have been steadily increasing since 2013. If Australia sustained the rate of improvement in emissions intensity it had achieved between 2005 and 2013, it could meet the government's 2030 target. But progress has stalled in most sectors and reversed overall.

The report assesses Australia’s progress on reducing emissions at the halfway point from the 2005 base year to 2030, looking across the whole of economy as well as in key sectors – electricity, industry, buildings, transport and land.

Importantly, Australia could change this trajectory, acording to ClimateWorks CEO Anna Skarbek.

“Going forward to 2030, there is three times the potential needed to reach the government’s current 2030 target, but projections show this will not be harnessed under current policy settings. However, it is still possible to build on areas of recent momentum if Australia implements further policies that guide investment in a cleaner economy.  Our research shows Australia has the potential to reach 55 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and this would set our economy on the net zero emissions pathway needed for the Paris Agreement.”