Australia’s Paris Emission Targets

“With energy efficiency as its cornerstone and needing its pace redoubled, climate protection depends critically on seeing and deploying the entire efficiency resource. This requires focusing less on individual technologies than on whole systems (buildings,factories, vehicles, and the larger systems embedding them), and replacing theoretical assumptions about efficiency’s diminishing returns with practitioners’ empirical evidence of expanding returns.” Amory B Lovins 2018, How big is the energy efficiency resource?, Environ. Res. Lett. 13 090401

First – what are Australia’s commitments?  A 26-28% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent – including ozone, methane, nitrous oxide and stratospheric ozone destroying chlorofluorocarbons.

It looks even better on a per person basis.

To meet the commitment means reducing emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent gases to about 450 billion tonnes by 2030.  We are more than halfway there.


These are quarterly emissions from various sources.   The land use sector has been the biggest source of decline.  It includes paying indigenous organizations to care for country through mosaic burning with an immense environmental payoff.


emissions by sector

A plan to succeed must meet objectives across all these sectors.  The cost for existing contracts for abatement is some $12.00/tonne.  A  plan just for wind and solar is to plan for a costly, feel good failure.

Ongoing efficiency gains – and rebuilding soil carbon on agricultural lands – allow emission reductions, contain costs and improve productivity.


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