Aus­tralia PM Tony Ab­bott de­fends car­bon waste limit

The China Post - - ASIA -

Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott on Satur­day de­fended Aus­tralia’s car­bon pol­lu­tion re­duc­tion tar­get as in line with those of other coun­tries af­ter the na­tion’s cli­mate change au­thor­ity crit­i­cized the goal as “dis­ap­point­ing.”

The gov­ern­ment on Tues­day an­nounced plans to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions by 26 to 28 per­cent of 2005 lev­els by 2030, well be­low the level rec­om­mended by the in­de­pen­dent Cli­mate Change Au­thor­ity which ad­vises the gov­ern­ment on the is­sue.

In Ade­laide on Satur­day, Ab­bott de­fended the tar­get, say­ing it was on a par with that of the United States and far bet­ter than those of South Korea and China, the world’s big­gest car­bon pol­luter.

“When it comes to emis­sions per capita, our tar­get, a tar­get that we are ab­so­lutely con­fi­dent that we can and will meet, is the best in the world,” he said, Aus­tralian As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

“So let’s not have any­one say that this is a gov­ern­ment which is in­dif­fer­ent to en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes.”

The Cli­mate Change Au­thor­ity has sug­gested a tar­get of cuts of more than 40 per­cent.

“The gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of a 26- 28 per­cent re­duc­tion in to­tal emis­sions ( which is what counts most when it comes to con­tain­ing global warm­ing) would put Aus­tralia at or near the bot­tom of the group of coun­tries we gen­er­ally com­pare our­selves with,” the au­thor­ity said in a state­ment late Fri­day.

Bernie Fraser, who heads the au­thor­ity, said Aus­tralia’s tar­gets were “well be­low what we rec­om­mended and that’s dis­ap­point­ing.”

“And in per capita terms, our emis­sions will re­main about the high­est of the wealthy, de­vel­oped coun­tries,” he told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion on Satur­day.

With its heavy use of coal­fired power and rel­a­tively small pop­u­la­tion of 23 mil­lion, Aus­tralia is con­sid­ered one of the world’s worst per capita green­house gas pol­luters.

Asked about Ab­bott’s claims that the pro­posed per capita re­duc­tions were bet­ter than any other com­pa­ra­ble coun­try, Fraser said: “There are dif­fer­ent ways of pre­sent­ing these kinds of fig­ures and I think the fact is that, in per capita emis­sions terms, Aus­tralia’s still go­ing to be pretty much out in the vanguard, what­ever the re­duc­tion is.”

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