I don’t know who ScottyFromMarketing is meeting or what he is beating but it sure as hell isn’t our Kyoto target of a 5% emissions reduction below 2000 levels.
The latest quarterly update states that “Australia’s emissions for the year to June 2019 were 0.8 per cent below emissions in 2000.” That’s a long way from 5%.
The 2019 emissions projection report states that “Australia’s emissions in 2020 are expected to be 534 Mt CO2 -e compared to a notional point target of 509 Mt CO2 -e.”
So we have a “notional target” for 2020, yet the same document shows that we still won’t have reached it by 2030.
“Emissions are projected to decline to 511 Mt CO2 -e in 2030 which is 16 per cent below 2005 levels,” which is also well short of the 26% reduction we promised.
So what’s going on?
This obscure phrase got me searching:
“Australia is set to overachieve its 2020 target because the target is calculated as a budget over the period 2013–2020.”
What’s that mean?
Stephen Howes, who worked on the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, explains.
“Of our 2020 international commitments, the 5%-by-2020-from-2000 one is by far the best known. But we also made another commitment, a multi-year target relating to emissions between 2013 and 2020. We undertook to keep average emissions for this period at 99.5% of their 1990 level. Fortunately, for the government, this little-known and much-easier-to-meet target has been met.
It is telling that earlier annual government emissions assessments report our progress (and prospective shortfalls) against both Kyoto targets: the multi-year and the single-year one. This shows that the government originally took both targets seriously, as it was obliged to. However, starting in 2016, the government stopped reporting on progress to the 5%-by-2020 target. From then on, it has focused purely on progress against the multi-year target.”
Another recent change in reporting has been to shift the focus to per capita emissions and emissions intensity ie emissions compared to GDP.
But Scotty knows this is a con as he revealed in answer to a question at the National Press Club.
The atmosphere doesn’t care if emissions have an “Australian accent”, said Scotty. It also doesn’t care how many of us there are or how much money we make.
Whilst this fudging might work, with the backing of the Murdoch media empire, on the general population in Australia, it is not working with the experts at international conferences where we are seen as a pariah, deliberately obstructing progress because we happen to have a lot of fossil fuels to sell.
Scotty wants us to adapt to the heating that the fossil fuel industry is thrusting upon us. He wants us to get resilient at dealing with the disasters they are causing.
To a degree, he is right – we will have to deal with the warming we have already caused.
But to blithely and knowingly continue to make the problem worse is criminally negligent.
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