Dear Dr Sally Box (Head of Australian Delegation – Negotiations, email@example.com) and Mr David Higgins (Head of Australian Delegation – Action Agenda, firstname.lastname@example.org),
My name is Dr. Robyn Gulliver. I am the Country Manager for Australia for CLIMATE SCORECARD, a non-profit organization that monitors leading greenhouse gas-emitting countries’ climate policies and programs.
Based on a review of Australia’s policies, we believe that much can be done to increase your country’s climate ambition, achieve the global goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, and become carbon neutral by 2050. Therefore, we suggest you adopt the following goals and announce these goals at COP28.
#1) Australia Announces It Will Strengthen Its Paris Agreement Pledge: As of 2022, Australia had pledged to achieve a target reduction of 43% reduction below 2005 levels by 2030, equating to emitting no more than 347.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. We suggest that you announce a revision of this and related targets at COP28. We suggest that you announce that 2030 Australia will reduce its emissions by at least 75% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2035. As one of the highest per capita emitters globally that is also very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, faster action to reduce emissions is necessary. This can be achieved by ending subsidies, tax breaks and public funding for fossil fuels, implementing a carbon price or emissions trading scheme, banning new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and investing in energy storage, demand management and transmission infrastructure to achieve 100% renewable electricity. Net zero by 2035 can also be achieved by restoring natural ecosystems and supporting workers and communities to fairly and rapidly transition to a low-carbon economy.
#2) Australia Announces It Will End the Production of Fossil Fuels: Australia must decisively shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources for domestic use and exports. Despite being among the top global exporters of liquefied natural gas and coal, nearly 90% of Australia’s energy consumption in 2020 was sourced from fossil fuels. The country must, therefore, urgently phase out coal- and gas-fired power plants and replace them with renewable energy sources. It must also immediately ban any new fossil fuel projects and include provisions allowing existing offshore gas reserves to deplete, but not expand, their existing reserves. This ban must occur alongside a commitment to phase out thermal coal mining, burning and export by 2030. Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and reintroducing an emission trading scheme should be coupled with investment in energy efficiency, demand management, development of zero-carbon technologies, and investment in zero-emission resource production for export. By adopting this approach, Australia will fulfill its international climate commitments while rapidly advancing the transition to a healthy and sustainable future for all.
I hope you will incorporate these suggestions in your presentation at COP28, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Dr Robyn Gulliver
Climate Scorecard Australia Country Manager