Australia, Egypt and India update climate plans ahead of COP27

Australia’s new Government has passed the country’s first climate target updates in more than a decade, while India and Egypt have updated their Paris Agreement pledges in preparation for COP27.

By Sarah George for edie

The Australian House of Representatives moved on Thursday (4 August) to pass a new bill including legally binding emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2050, The bill was tabled by Labor and supported by the Greens.

The new 2030 emissions target is for a 43% reduction against a 2005 baseline. This covers not only carbon but all greenhouse gas emissions. The new 2050 climate target is net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This 2050 aim had been floated in 2021 but was not legally binding.

To help deliver the targets, the bill has implemented a new requirement for key government agencies to run emissions forecasting when making investment decisions.

It also includes a new requirement for Australia’s climate Minister to produce an annual report and give an annual statement to Parliament, providing an update on progress and areas for improvement. The report will be developed with support from the Climate Change Authority, which is similar to the UK’s Climate Change Committee.

As a formality, the bill has to clear the Senate when parliament next sits in September. This is almost certain to happen.

Details as to how the plan will impact the private sector need to be fleshed out. The Green Party is prioritizing a push for the end of new coal mining, coal power plant opening and gas extraction, overturning Scott Morisson’s approach.

Climate Action Tracker has rated Australia’s climate policy as “insufficient” overall, with more details needed on how to meet net-zero. A particularly weak area, historically, has been scaling sustainable finance domestically and internationally. If every nation had policies like Australia, the organisation estimates, the global temperature rise by 2100 would be more than 2.5C.

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