What Australia is doing

Australia generates only about 1.5% of global emissions. However, on a per person basis we are one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. Our per capita CO2 emissions – around 27 tonnes of CO2-e per person – are nearly twice the OECD average, and more than four times the world average.1

Two countries contribute more than 35% of global emissions–the United States and China. Nineteen countries are responsible for the next 40% –individually emitting between 1 and 5% of global emissions. Australia is one of these countries. Holding any temperature increase to below 2°C will only be possible if Australia and other countries with similar emission levels take action.

To achieve Australia’s unconditional 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 5% below 2000 levels, Australia must reduce its emissions by a cumulative total 431 million tonnes of CO2-e between 2013 and 20202 according to estimates by the Treasury and the Department of Environment.

As a result of climate change and increased climate variability in Australia, we are likely to see more frequent and more extreme weather events including heatwaves, storms, cyclones and bushfires; a continued decline in rainfall in southern Australia, higher temperatures and decreases in water supplies.

Around Australia, industries and people are taking action now to prepare for these impacts. The Clean Energy Regulator is the government body responsible for administering legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy. The Clean Energy Regulator administers the Carbon Farming Initiative, as well as the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, the Carbon Pricing Mechanism Renewable Energy Target.


  1. http://www.carbonneutral.com.au/climate-change/australian-emissions.html
  2. http://www.environment.gov.au/node/38029

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