Australia on track to miss climate targets by wide margin

Australia on Friday admitted it is off track to meet the 2030 emissions targets agreed under the Paris climate accord.

The Department of the Environment said the country is on course to meet the more modest 2020 targets, but will struggle to reduce emissions by 26-28% by the end of the following decade.

Australia was the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas last month and is one of the world's top coal producers.

The conservative government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been tepid in its drive to tackle climate change and has prioritised the economy over reduction targets.

He has claimed that investments in renewables mean Australia will meet the targets "at a canter".

Although emissions forecasts have improved slightly, the government admits it is still a long way from the desired trajectory.

Australia estimates it would need to cut the equivalent of 695 to 762 megatonnes of carbon dioxide between 2021 and 2030.

At the moment, it is forecast to miss that target by almost 20%.

"The Morrison Government has no policies to address Australia's climate pollution problem," said the Australian Conservation Foundation in a statement.

As part of the Paris Agreement in 2015, countries agreed to limit global temperature rises to below 2°C.

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