Why is it for politicians so easy to tell complete and utter untruths without any real consequences? This is even worse when statements like “We’ll meet our Paris Agreement targets in a canter” come from our very own Prime Minister Scott Morrison who is very outspoken about his christian faith - I wonder if he has ever read the 10 Commandments, especially the 9th…
Let’s analyse this statement. Meeting a target in a canter would imply that, firstly we are going to meet the target and secondly we’re going to do so easily. In order to fact check these two statements we need to look at what our obligations under the Paris Agreement are.
Our national targets are an emissions reduction of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Our CO² emissions in 2005 were 605 mio t CO² which would mean by 2030 we would need to have reduced our emissions to between 447.7 mio t CO² (26%) and 435.6 mio t CO² (28%).
Looking at the achievements of the current (just reelected) government over the last 6 years, I can not share the Prime Minister’s optimism with respect to achieving these goals. Our current estimated emissions are 135.6 mio t CO² per quarter (as of June 2018) which equates to annual emissions of 542.4 mio t CO². These emissions have been mostly going up since the repeal of the Carbon Tax by the Abbott government in 2013. Incidentally, the introduction of the Carbon Tax started a period of steady decline in CO² emissions. In other words we are currently around 10.3% below 2005 levels but year on year emissions have been increasing despite emissions reductions in the energy sector due to increased household uptake of solar power and retirement of ageing coal-fired power-stations.
All this will, in all likelihood, mean an increased focus on emissions reduction in the transport and agricultural sectors unless - which is highly unlikely with the current government - an even more aggressive reduction in the power generation sector is undertaken. I wonder if the electorate in regional Australia is even aware of the impact this could have on them… Knowing this would they have abandoned Labour, as they did, at the last election?