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Australia: (1) Strengthen country’s Paris Agreement pledge; (2) Fast track phase-out of HFCs

If using the ultimate goal of keeping global temperature increase from remaining below 2°C, then Australia needs to strengthen its commitment to the Paris Agreement. Australia’s INDC aims to achieve a 26-28% reduction below a 2005 baseline by 2030. There is conflicting information available about the progress towards this goal. In July of 2017, the organization Climate Action Tracker reported that Australia’s “emissions will far exceed its Paris Agreement NDC for 2030, meaning that the country’s pledged goals will not be met”

Many Australian cities have already created their own emission reduction goals that exceed the nationwide NDC pledge. If these goals can be exceeded by Australia’s largest cities, then it is realistic to think that the nation as a whole can exceed it Paris Agreement pledge. One approach to improving upon current goals would be to support a progressive decrease over time in greenhouse gas emissions with the ultimate goal being net zero emissions.

In addition, as recommended by Australia’s Climate Change Authority, an accelerated phase-down of HFC emissions should begin immediately in order to limit the extreme global warming potential of these gases. Eliminating HFC emissions is easier than the phase out of CO2, which permeates many more areas of the economy than HFCs and would show more immediate results.


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