Abbott Government’s 2030 climate target cements Australia as worst polluter in the world

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The Abbott Government's reported 2030 climate target is less than half of what the Climate Change Authority, the government's independent expert body, has recommended as a bare minimum.

Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, said:

"This is a weak target from a weak Prime Minister that cements Australia as the worst polluter per capita in the world, trashing our international reputation.   

"Tony Abbott has again put his big polluting donors ahead of Australians' very way of life, our environmental icons, like the Great Barrier Reef, and the job-rich renewable energy industry.

"The Abbott Government, presiding over rising unemployment, has failed to see climate action for the job creation opportunity that it is.

"The US, China and Europe have set much stronger targets and are seizing the employment and trade opportunities that renewables present but Tony Abbott continues to prop up the dying coal industry. 

"Tony Abbott is stuck in the 19th century economy and he is robbing this country of its potential.

"To add insult to injury, the Abbott Government has fudged the numbers so the pitiful target announced is actually even worse than it sounds.

"Instead of measuring pollution cuts from 2000 levels like the Climate Change Authority, Tony Abbott has changed the goal posts by picking the historically high level of pollution in 2005 to work from.

"The Climate Change Authority has recommended a 40 to 60 per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2030 to give a 67 per cent chance of keeping global warming within the internationally agreed 2 degree limit.

"The Abbott Government's reported target is less than half of the lower end of that range at just 19.25 per cent less than the level of pollution in 2000.

"The Greens and civil society groups are calling for 60 to 80 per cent reduction on 2000 levels by 2030, to give a 75 per cent chance of staying below 2 degrees," Senator Waters said.