The government is finally getting serious about green energy.
And with the election of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in May, they are starting to tackle some of the major problems of our times: climate change, water scarcity, the pollution of our waterways and our air.
But in many areas, our government still has a long way to go.
In 2017, climate change was one of the biggest challenges facing Australia.
According to the Australian Climate Change Authority, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions had increased by over 50 per cent over the past 20 years.
And while the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABCM) estimated that the average global temperature had risen by about 2.5 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past century, the average annual global temperature in 2017 was 0.6 Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit) warmer than the average recorded for the year 1900.
These are not small changes.
The Australian government has pledged to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 100 per cent by 2050, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2017 agreed to a “global emissions cut target” of 15 per cent below 2005 levels.
But it is still too early to say if Australia can meet its target, and not just by reducing emissions.
Even though we are reducing emissions, we have a long ways to go in the coming years.
In particular, we need to take into account the role that human activities, such as farming, deforestation and pollution, have played in our climate change.
For example, it is estimated that about a quarter of Australia’s climate change emissions are from agriculture, forestry and pastoral industries.
These industries produce a significant proportion of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and have already contributed to more than a third of the increase in global temperature since 1900.
But they also emit a large amount of greenhouse gases, as their activities affect climate change by causing soil and water erosion and water pollution.
As a result, Australia is also responsible for more than half of the world’s emissions of CO2, and our country has the largest greenhouse gas footprint of any developed country in the world.
To help us tackle climate change at a national level, the Turnbull government has introduced the first carbon price, which will see a reduction of all electricity prices from $8.10 per megawatt hour (MWh) to $4.70 per MWh, and a reduction in petrol prices to $2.50 per litre.
But these reductions are being phased in and the price will remain constant over the next five years.
And although the carbon price will reduce our greenhouse gas pollution, it will not reduce our climate pollution, so the Turnbull Government is encouraging other countries to follow our lead.
On the federal level, a number of new initiatives will also be introduced.
The National Climate Change Policy will see the Commonwealth Government providing financial support to States, territories and local authorities that want to reduce emissions through policies like the Climate Change Tax and a new Climate Action Plan.
But the Turnbull administration has also promised to create a new carbon market, which aims to encourage Australian businesses to make their products more efficient and more environmentally friendly, and to encourage investment in renewable energy.
While we are on the road to the future, we must continue to take action to ensure that our children and grandchildren are able to live in an Australia where our grandchildren can be proud of the country they were born in.
Join the Conversation Posted in Climate Change Tags climate change policy,climate change,government,environment,pollution source Google Blog (Australia, New South Wales) title Climate Change policy is not enough to reduce CO2 emissions article The Turnbull Government will announce on Thursday that it is scrapping the Climate Action Plans (CAPs) it introduced in May 2018.
The CAPs were designed to provide the states and territories with incentives to reduce their emissions, and were designed with a specific focus on climate change mitigation.
They were also supposed to help reduce emissions from the power sector.
But despite these aims, the CAPs have already had the unintended consequence of reducing emissions that are already being emitted by electricity generators.
Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions are higher than the EU average, and are more than 20 per cent higher than that of the United States.
But the government’s decision to scrap the CAP will mean that electricity generators will be forced to produce more carbon dioxide and emit more CO2 into the atmosphere.
This will not only reduce Australia’s emissions, it could also have a significant negative impact on our climate.
This article is from the February 2017 issue of Climate Change.