- Australia has joined the 132 countries already targeting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, outlining a “technology-driven” approach to carbon reduction in advance of next week’s COP26 UN global climate summit.
- The Australian government’s roadmap — ‘The plan to deliver net-zero, the Australian way‘ — outlines its strategy as focusing on “technology not taxes,” aiming to drive down the costs of emissions-reduction innovations rather than creating “higher taxes [that] put industries, regions, or jobs at risk.”
- The agrifood sectors are set to play a central role, with soil carbon sequestration, “high-integrity offsets,” and methane-reducing feed supplements for livestock among the key technologies and models mentioned.
Why it matters:
Australia has faced particular criticism for its supposed inaction on greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change-related issues. Among high-income economies, it has been a laggard in terms of committing to quantifiable emissions-reduction goals, with critics pointing to the country’s economic reliance on primary industries — including agriculture — and the powerful lobbies that support them.
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Nevertheless, in its roadmap released today, the Australian government claimed that the country has reduced emissions faster than “many comparable advanced economies,” including Canada, Japan, and the US – with farming central to this achievement.
“We beat our 2020 target, and our emissions are currently more than 20% below 2005 levels. Australia’s agricultural sector has done the heavy lifting in achieving this,” it said.
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