With global climate change talks well and truly underway in Glasgow, we remain hopeful that 197 countries will agree to effective targets for lowering their carbon emissions by 2030, in order to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Given the opportunities that abound for Australia in both a global and local shift to a net zero economy – and the fact Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are currently triple the average of G20 countries – we should be leading these developments.
Australia should be a leader. Not in words, but in ambition and action.
The 2015 Paris Agreement represented the global community agreeing to work together to keep temperature rise below 2°C, and if possible below 1.5°C. It established the use of carbon budgets to track aggregate commitments made by countries to reduce their emissions, matched with the amount of carbon that can be ‘spent’ over a specified period to stabilise warming at a particular level.
Around the world, cities and states are setting these carbon budgets.
We are putting forward five key actions for Sydney and NSW to expand their leadership position on climate, and first and foremost is that now is the time for NSW to set its own carbon budget.