Australia Is Edging Closer to Meeting Its 2030 Emissions Target

Australia Is Edging Closer to Meeting Its 2030 Emissions Target

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(Bloomberg) — Australia is on track to cut its greenhouse emissions by 42% below 2005 levels by 2030, Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said, citing new projections that will be released formally this week. 

That’s less than the Labor government’s 43% reduction target, but still an improvement from last year 40% estimate. The improved outlook comes after Australia ramped up plans to boost spending on renewable energy. 

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We are “pleased with what we’ve done so far but not satisfied,” Bowen said Sunday in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s Insiders program. The 43% target is “a floor to our ambitions.”

The government has faced repeated calls from green groups to speed up the pace of change. Its emissions reduction targets lag behind many developed economies and Australia is still one of the world’s largest exporters of fossil fuels.

On Thursday, the government said it would broaden its Capacity Investment Scheme to underwrite about 32 gigawatts of renewable energy projects in Australia, more than five times the 6 gigawatts that were planned under the initial pilot program.

Read more: Australia to Significantly Bolster Green Energy Investment

For renewable projects built under the initiative, any shortfalls in revenue below a certain floor will be reimbursed in part by the federal government. For exceedingly profitable projects, a certain percentage of any excess revenue will be returned to the federal purse.

Bowen on Sunday declined to give any figure on how much the government is prepared to spend on the initiative, saying it wouldn’t show its hand before entering into commercial negotiations. The plan has faced criticism from opposition leader Peter Dutton, who labeled it a “giant Ponzi scheme” in a speech to party members on Saturday.

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