The Australian Government is committed to addressing climate change while at that same time ensuring we maintain energy security and affordability. The Government recognises that in reducing emissions and meeting our international commitments there are economic impacts to be balanced. Through effective policies, ambitious and responsible targets, and careful management, Australia is playing its role in global efforts to reduce emissions, while maintaining a strong economy and realising the benefits of the transition to a lower emissions future.
Climate change is a global issue that requires international action. The Government has ratified the Paris Agreement and set a target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This target amounts to a halving of per capita emissions and a two thirds reduction in emissions intensity of economic activity. It is among the strongest targets of major economies on that basis.
In announcing Australia’s 2030 target, the Government committed to review its climate change policies during 2017. The review aims to ensure policies remain effective in achieving Australia’s 2030 target and Paris Agreement commitments. Terms of reference for the review are at Appendix A.
The Government will consult with business and the community throughout the review. Submissions are invited in response to this Discussion Paper. To guide input, questions are posed at the end of each section of the Discussion Paper.
Submissions are due by 5:00pm AEST, Friday, 5 May 2017. Any submissions received after this date will be considered at the Government’s discretion.
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The climate challenge is an opportunity - one in which the private sector is ready to invest. Businesses are increasingly finding innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions at a profit in sectors like renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture (CSA), green buildings, and sustainable transport, while generating jobs and making cities cleaner and healthier.
Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement means cutting carbon emissions to near zero over the next 30 years. This must be done at the lowest cost, while ensuring energy supplies remain reliable. This policy paper argues that Australia needs new foundations to underpin its energy policy reform agenda.
The 2017 review, conducted by the Department of the Environment and Energy, aims to ensure the Government's climate change policies remain effective in achieving Australia’s 2030 target and Paris Agreement commitments.