The Australian Academy of Science has welcomed commitments announced today by the Victorian, Queensland, South Australian and ACT governments to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
These commitments are consistent with the 2015 Paris Climate Accord committing 195 countries, including Australia, to action on climate change.
In particular, the Paris Accord marked international agreement that limiting global warming to 1.5–2.0 degrees above pre-industrial levels would require the world to achieve zero carbon emissions by the second half of the century, and reduce absolute levels of atmospheric carbon thereafter.
Australia is one of the highest per-capita emitters in the world, and our coastal infrastructure, agricultural and health sectors, and national treasures such as the Great Barrier Reef, are highly vulnerable to climate change.
The Academy has previously called on Australian governments to implement policy measures to reduce carbon emissions over the coming decades with the ultimate goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and the announcements by the three state premiers and the chief minister today are a very welcome commitment to achieving this goal.
© 2017 Australian Academy of Science