Planners call on stronger emission reduction target for Australia

1st Feb 16

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) believes the Australian Government greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 is inadequate. The Australian Government’s own Climate Change Authority recommends a trajectory range of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels.

PIA National President Brendan Nelson said: ‘What makes Australia’s target even worse is the benchmark year of 2005. When compared to the Climate Change Authority’s recommendation, Australia’s GHG emissions were 6.5 per cent higher in 2005 than 2000’.

The Federal Government released Australia's National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, in Paris on Wednesday 2 December, sighting the nation’s response to extreme weather and climate variability.

Mr Nelson said: ‘The Strategy whilst welcome has missed the mark. It has been developed with no consultation and lacks a clear implementation plan to achieve Australia’s GHG emissions target. Instead it confirms the current adhoc nature of programs being delivered in Australia’.

According to The Garnaut Climate Change Review, Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are the highest of any OECD country and are among the highest in the world.

Mr Nelson said: ‘Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world with more than 80 per cent of our population living in cities and towns within 50 km of the coast. The implications of climate change on our future as a result of extreme weather events cannot be underestimated. We have a responsibility to our future generations to address this issue now. The longer we leave it, the harder and more expensive it will be’.

‘We urge the Turnbull Government not to leave Australia lagging behind, but instead to commit to immediately reviewing the former Abbott Government’s emission reduction target based on the best available science’.

In August this year, PIA released its Policy Statement Planning in a Changing Climate, which outlines how the planning industry can be proactive in the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies to avoid harm and negative impacts to present and future ecosystems, human and non-human populations.

Mr Nelson said: ‘PIA stands ready to work with the Government and national climate experts to develop a Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy that provides a blueprint for future resilience. We owe it to our children.’

Media contact:

Brendan Nelson, National President, Planning Institute of Australia
0467 719 198 /
@pia_planning #planningmatters

  • Contact PIA today
  • 02 6262 5933
  • 02 6292 9970
  • PO Box 5427 Kingston ACT 2604