Australia pledges to cut carbon emissions by 26% by 2030

2015-08-11 12:55

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Sydney - Australia plans to reduce carbon emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2030, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday, adding the government was focused on balancing the economy with the environment.

The conservative government is expected to take the target, which Abbott said was "fairly in the middle" of those made by comparable economies, to an upcoming global climate conference in Paris.

"We have come to the position our 2030 emissions reduction target will be in the range of 26 to 28%," Abbott told reporters in Canberra.

"There is a definite commitment to 26% but we believe under the policies that we have got, with the circumstances that we think will apply, that we can go to 28%."

The government had previously said it would consider projected economic growth and the nation's mineral resources in coming up with its target and Abbott said he was not assuming a "massive close down of coal" - a key export for Australia.

"It's a good, solid, economically responsible, environmentally responsible target," Abbott said of the pledge.

With its use of coal-fired power and relatively small population of 23 million, Australia is one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters but Abbott said the new target would drastically improve this.

"We are not leading but we are certainly not lagging," he said.

"Where we are leading, of course, is in emissions reduction per person – 50%-plus emissions reduction per person which is the best in the developed world."

Paris will host the UN climate conference at the end of the year, with organisers hoping to conclude a pact limiting global warming to 2°C over pre-industrial levels.

Read more on:    australia  |  pollution

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