Australia on Thursday ratified the Paris Agreement and the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, affirming its “strong commitment” towards climate change. The Paris and Doha Amendment, which together formalise Australia’s 2030 and 2020 emission reduction targets, were tabled in the first sitting week of the new Parliament.
“The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties considered National Interest Analyses (NIA), four public hearings and almost 50 submissions before recommending that Australia ratify both treaties,” Foreign Minister Julie bishop said in an official statement.
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The negotiation of the Paris Agreement was a turning point in the global transition to a lower emission future and Australia was one of more than 170 countries to sign the Agreement at the United Nations in New York in April 2016. Australia now joins 100 other countries in ratifying the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016.
“Australia has a strong track record on international emissions reduction targets. We beat our first Kyoto target by 128 million tonnes and are on track to meet and beat our second Kyoto 2020 target by 78 million tonnes,” she said. Ratification of the Agreement confirms Australia’s ambitious and responsible target to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, the minister said. This target is comparable with other advanced economies and will halve our per capita emissions making it one of the highest targets in the G20 on that basis, she said.
The Australian Government is working to further reduce emissions, the statement said adding ‘The Emissions Reduction Fund’ has contracted 143 million tonnes of emissions reduction and by 2020 nearly a quarter of our electricity will be from renewables. Already 15 per cent of our households use solar energy, the highest proportion in the world, she said.
“Australia’s policy is to meet our international commitments on emission reduction while at the same time maintaining energy security and affordability,” the minister said.