MEDIA RELEASE: 3 December 2021
Friends of the Earth response to the Australian Labor Party’s climate policy package
The Australian Labor Party has released its long-awaited policy to tackle the climate crisis as the Parliamentary sitting year ends.
The comprehensive package–which includes measures to accelerate the rollout of renewables and uptake of electric vehicles, among other technologies–states the Albanese opposition’s commitment to cut emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Friends of the Earth says whoever forms government after the 2022 election must grapple with the urgent need to align national climate targets with the best available science.
Climate Council research shows Australia must reduce its emissions by 75 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2035 to contribute to international efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Friends of the Earth coordinated a community campaign calling for the government and opposition to match the United States and United Kingdom's 2030 climate targets at the COP26 climate summit.
“The United States and United Kingdom will cut emissions by 50 to 63 percent this decade,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s climate spokesperson.
“Australia risks missing out on jobs and new industries if it fails to scale up national climate initiatives to match that ambition in the short term.”
“Failure to align national targets with the best available science will leave communities exposed to intensifying bushfires, extreme weather, and rising sea levels.”
Friends of the Earth says the Albanese opposition has shown it will uphold the Glasgow Climate Pact by announcing a 2030 target of greater ambition than the Morrison government’s weak 26-28 percent cut (a target that was set by Tony Abbott over half-a-decade ago).
The Glasgow Climate Pact negotiated at the recent COP26 summit asks countries that failed to “ratchet up” their 2030 climate targets, such as Australia, to present an increased target at the COP27 in Egypt next year.
“Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has committed to uphold the Glasgow Climate Pact, will Prime Minister Scott Morrison?,” asks Leigh Ewbank.
“The Morrison government negotiated and signed the Glasgow Climate Pact, but seemingly walked away from the agreement days after the COP26 concluded.”
“Community members and global partners will continue to question Mr Morrison’s trustworthiness while his government fails to increase its 2030 target.”
Friends of the Earth will continue to work with communities to call for all political parties to scale up climate programs and deliver deep emissions cuts this decade.