Climate Change Authority invites public input to its caps and targets review

Tuesday, 23 April, 2013

The Climate Change Authority today released an issues paper and invited submissions to the Authority’s review of Australia’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Setting targets for reducing emissions also involves setting limits or ‘caps’ for Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism.

The review will include the Authority’s recommendations on a national emissions reduction target for 2020 and a proposed pathway to that target. The Authority will also recommend five years of annual emissions caps for Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism.

Climate change is a long-term problem and policy responses to it require much longer time frames than policy deliberations in many other areas. The Authority’s analysis will consider the longer term and the Authority may make recommendations beyond 2020.

In framing its recommendations, the Authority will draw upon existing and new analyses of a wide range of issues including:

  • the accumulating body of science underpinning concerns about climate change;
  • the extent and nature of ongoing international arrangements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • how any global efforts to reduce emissions might be shared among nations;
  • the economic and social implications for Australia of different targets for reducing emissions.

The Authority welcomes submissions from interested parties on these and the many other issues canvassed in the issues paper. Submissions should be lodged by 30 May 2013.

As well as making recommendations on how quickly Australia should reduce its emissions, the Authority is also required to report on Australia’s progress in reducing emissions. The review will therefore also examine trends in Australia’s emissions over the past two decades, the main factors contributing to those trends, and the implications for Australia’s medium- and long-term emissions reduction targets.

The Chair of the Climate Change Authority, Bernie Fraser, emphasised that extensive consultation with stakeholders and other interested parties was an integral part of the Authority’s processes.

The Authority proposes to release its draft report in October 2013 and will provide opportunities for public comment on its draft findings and recommendations before finalising its views.

Fraser said he believed these consultative opportunities would be invaluable in assisting the Authority to weigh up all the relevant considerations and reach recommendations conducive to advancing Australia’s national interests.

The Authority is required under current legislation to submit its final report to the Australian Government by the end of February 2014.

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