Australia is blowing it's carbon budget, but here's what you can do

In order to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius the world has to commit to an amount of carbon pollution they can emit, this is called the carbon budget. If countries exceed the given amount, then the world will heat at a higher degree. ​Australia has committed to reducing emissions to 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.​

Direct Action is the Australian federal government's central reduction tool. Through the emissions reduction fund, incentives are provided to the Australian economy for emissions reduction activities. According to the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, 'this is complemented by the Renewable Energy Target, energy efficiency improvements, phasing out very potent synthetic greenhouse gases, and direct support for investment in low emissions technologies and practices.' However, the Green Institute wrote a report stating that the scheme shouldn't count as real abatement as the Direct Action plan pays polluters to avoid clearing land they would never have cleared anyway. However, about 83% of the emissions reduction fund has been spent…

And according to NDEVR Environmental, emissions are rising despite these efforts. If Australia continues to emit the same amount of pollution as it has for the past year, then it is projected to spend its entire carbon budget by 2031. Australia has emitted 19.8% of its share of what the world can emit between 2013 and 2050 in order to keep warming below 2C. These projections prove that Australia is blowing its carbon budget.

According to the Guardian,

Australia's emissions jumped by 2.56m tonnes in the three months to September, putting them 1.55m tonnes off-track compared with commitments made in Paris, and 4.06m tonnes over levels demanded by scientifically based targets set by the government's Climate Change Authority. Emissions for the year to September are above those for the year to September 2015.

The Australian Government has stated it will review its climate policies in 2017 to consider long-term emissions reduction targets.

There are numerous countries around the world that have made great strides in their climate targets. According to the Conversation, the German Climate Action Plan 2050 seeks to meet a reduction in greenhouse gases of up to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050 covering energy, buildings, transport, industry, agriculture and land use. Canada aims to reduce emissions by 80% or more below 2005 levels by 2050 and Mexico plans to reduce its emissions by 50% from 2000 levels.

So what do we do?

Individual action is key to solving the climate crisis. Government's reflect the views of its people, generally. Therefore, a lifestyle revolution by the people is called for despite any national drawbacks, and this can mould a new path for that country.

In your daily life you can recycle, reuse and repurpose, you can cut back on red meat, grow your own, compost, invest in solar, say no to plastic, shop ethically and sustainably, make your own, catch public transport, cut back on electricity use, save water, carpool, plant trees, do your research and cast YOUR vote for a sustainable future.

One can create change in their daily lives through the way we live. Cutting CO2 through practical changes in your lifestyle is a sure way to make a difference. Our Carbon Challenge has more that 50 activites to cut pollution. Make a personal goal to cut a minimum of 1 tonne of CO2 pollution from your daily life within a year.

We're in a climate emergency and it's going to take all of us to get out of it. That's why 1 Million Women is building a global community of women committed to fighting climate change with our daily actions. To join the (free) movement just click the button below!

Shea Hogarth International Correspondent Suggest an article Send us an email

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