Infrastructure Australia calls for clarity on national climate policy

A new report from Infrastructure Australia has recommended that the Australian governments should work collaboratively to establish a stable national framework to respond to climate change and reduce emissions in line with our international commitments.

The recommendation is one of 15 made in its most recent research report, Future Cities: Planning for our growing population.

The report notes that a clear climate policy direction will “provide certainty and stability to both public and private sectors, enabling our cities to play a central role in supporting Australia’s transition to a lower emissions economy”.

“Enabling cities to contribute meaningfully to emissions reductions by establishing a stable national framework In line with our international commitments, Australia must reduce emissions in order to mitigate the increasing short and long-term impacts of climate change, including increased temperatures, sea level rises, environmental degradation, increases in extreme weather events and increased pressure on resources.

“Australia has one of the highest rates of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world and it is in our largest cities where the bulk of these emissions originate.

“The scenario analysis presented within this paper makes clear that, without intervention, our cities will continue to be an increasing source of emissions as they grow in size and scale.

“Australia is a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 2015 Paris Agreement, under which it has committed to reduce greenhouse emissions to 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.108

“Achieving this commitment will require a significant shift to the way we use energy in Australia. But efforts are currently being hampered by ongoing uncertainty regarding how Australia will respond to meeting its current and future international commitments.

“Our cities will play a central role in supporting this transition. The Climate Council has indicated that cuts to emissions in cities could deliver up to 70% of the nation’s required reductions under the Paris Agreement.

“However, the structure of the Australian federation means that cities cannot act alone in responding to climate change. A national and stable approach is required to provide certainty and enable state, territory and local governments, the community and the private sector to make the changes required to achieve the necessary reductions.”

The paper, Future Cities: Planning for our growing population, is available here

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