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This proposal is based on the Australia´s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target, by the Australian Government.



This seed proposal is a summary of the Australia´s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target, created by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating a new proposal of their own. The Australian Government has not endorsed or reviewed this summary.

This plan is the Australian Government´s supporting document to its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission ahead of the Paris conference.

The stated aim of this plan is for Australia to contribute with its fair share to the goal of limiting global average temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the UNFCCC´s Parties. In order to achieve this, Australia´s commitment is in line with that of other developed countries, taking into account its own special circumstances. Some aspects of this uniqueness are:

  •  Strong population growth until 2030 of 1.5% yearly, way above the OCDE average of 0.4%.
  •  The Australian economy has been continuously growing for 25 years, and is expected to grow further in the future.
  • Most of Australia´s exports come from carbon intensive sectors and agriculture: around 50% are resources, and 12% agricultural products, while the majority of exports from other developed countries, apart from New Zealand, are manufacturing and services.
  •  An energy infrastructure based largely on cheap coal -60% of total national electricity supply came from coal in 2014, compared to about 25% in the European Union-
  • Higher than average abatement costs.


In this context Australia´s national objectives of reducing GHGs emissions, increasing productivity and ensuring economic growth need to be brought together.

With all these considerations in mind, Australia intends to cut its GHGs emissions by a 26% by 2030 below 2005 levels. A 28% reduction target would be considered if further opportunities to reduce emissions arise, and depending on the evolution in the costs of technology.

The 26-28% emissions reduction target is equivalent to a 50-52% reduction in emissions per capita, or 64-65% emissions reduction per unit of GDP.

The 2030 target is a step forward from Australia´s emissions target in 2020, set at a 5% reduction below 2000 levels, or 13% below 2005 levels.

The Australian Government reserves the right to modify its target if the outcomes of the Paris conference materially impacts the ability of Australia to fulfil it.

Australia will deliver its target through a Direct Action approach, with no trading scheme, and including the contributions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)

Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?

The 26-28% economy-wide emissions reduction target will be achieved on the basis of an emission budget, through Direct Action policy. This policy framework for the post-2020 period will be detailed during consultation in 2017-2018, although some legislation already exists. The main instruments will be:

1. Emissions Reduction Fund -including a Safeguard mechanism, to impede emissions acquired through the fund to be offset somewhere else in the economy-. The fund is already operating and has already purchased 47 million tonnes of emissions. The activity of the fund will account for around 40% of the total reduction in emissions.

2. Minimum Energy Performance Standards for appliances and buildings, and a National Energy Productivity Plan, including measures to improve the efficiency of vehicles. This plan sets a 40% energy efficiency improvement target in the period between 2015 and 2030, contributing with about 27% of the total emissions reduction target, of which 10% will derive from enhanced vehicle efficiency.

3. Further phasing down of synthetic greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol. This will contribute with a further 8% of the total reduction target.

The remaining 25% of the emissions reduction target will be delivered by:

4. Australia´s Renewable Energy Target, by which more than 23% of Australia´s electricity will come from renewables by 2020, and a strategy for improving the utilisation of solar power and battery storage. 

5. Developing a low emissions technology roadmap.

6. Reduce and offset emissions through LULUCF management; the 20 Million Trees Programme. 

In addition, the Australian Government is focused on building climate resilience and will develop a National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy during 2015. 

Australia, in the context of climate change, will continue to cooperate with countries in its region and internationally. Australia is a major contributor to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

Apart from limiting the extent of future global warming, other key benefits of this plan are:

  • The development of a credible 2030 plan ensures regulatory certainty to investors.
  • The proposed low cost and internationally concerted policy options will enable Australia to contribute, while protecting jobs and the competitiveness of the economy.
  • Reducing emissions will have a general positive impact on the environment.

What are the plan’s costs?

The Emissions Reduction Fund is provided with $ 2,55 billion.

An additional $1 billion is destined to fund renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency technologies. 

Besides, Australia contributes with $ 28.3 million to the Global Green Growth Institute.

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

 Australia´s 2030 target is largely based on a low-cost approach, which relies on technology. A lower than expected rate of innovation and technological progress would represent the main challenge to enacting this plan.


The Australia´s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target will be developed over the period 2021-2030, after the 2020 target is finished.

The 2017-2018 consultation process will serve as an opportunity to develop a long-term emissions reduction target beyond 2030.

Related plans


This proposal is a summary of the Australia´s 2030 Emissions Reduction Target, by the Australian Government:

Australia´s INDC:

Australia´s Emissions Reduction Fund:

National Energy Productivity Plan:

The 20 Million Trees Programme: