Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Media Release: Developing Countries Set Climate Benchmark

As I mentioned, Frank Jotzo will be giving a presentation at the Crawford School today (Tuesday, 23rd March) on his work on comparing countries' Copenhagen targets and our joint work on the ambition of China and India's emissions intensity targets. Below is the media release we are putting out. We are also putting out an EERH working paper, details to follow.



Australia needs to announce larger emissions targets if it wants to match the commitments shown at Copenhagen from China and the developing countries, according to researchers from The Australian National University.

The comparative study of targets announced at the Copenhagen Climate Change talks is the first Australian study to measure commitments on a common footing. It shows that China will have its work cut out to reach its very stringent targets and that developing countries might contribute over half of global emissions cuts by 2020.

The researchers, Dr Frank Jotzo and Dr David Stern of the Crawford School of Economics and Government at ANU, assessed key countries’ Copenhagen climate pledges, and put China’s target under the microscope. They found that ambitious carbon reduction policies will be needed to achieve the targeted 40 to 45 per cent reduction in China’s emissions intensity, or carbon per unit of GDP. Even so, China’s emissions will continue growing absolutely.

“The ‘business as usual’ trend in emissions intensity is well above the target that China has proposed,” said Dr Stern. “In fact, China’s proposed reductions in emissions intensity are on par with those implicit in the US and EU targets. That means that a substantial new effort will be needed to achieve their target.”

But China isn’t alone in making a commitment to significant emissions targets. Among developing countries Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa and others have made pledges which the researchers say would amount to substantial cuts.

“Compared to ‘business as usual’, the total cuts promised by developing countries may well be greater than the total reductions committed by developed countries,” said Dr Jotzo.

He added that this has implications for Australia’s emissions target, which remains at the bottom end of the five to 25 per cent range.

“Given that major developing countries are pledging to substantially restrain emissions, and developed countries have made comparable commitments to Australia’s range, it would be logical for Australia to announce a 15 per cent target, plus financing for developing countries and extra action on land-based carbon,” said Dr Jotzo.

Dr Jotzo will present the results of the study at a seminar today at The Australian National University.

For interviews: Dr Frank Jotzo – 02 6125 4367
For media assistance: Martyn Pearce, ANU Media – 02 6125 5575 / 0416 249 245

No comments:

Post a Comment