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Glasgow outcome means a big 2022 for Australia

“The outcome of the COP26 Glasgow climate summit is a big step forward for global efforts to limit climate change, and Australia will need to keep pace to ensure our own success,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of national employer association Ai Group said.

“Australia’s national adoption of a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 is positive, meaningful and already very useful in clarifying investment and regulatory decisions in the electricity sector. But meeting the global call for higher 2030 ambition will require a further step up in our medium term commitments, our policy development, and our engagement with business and civil society.

“Glasgow had three big jobs.

“The first was to inspire substantially greater ambition and firmer commitments from all parties to keep alive the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels.

“The second was to make those commitments easier to meet, measure and upgrade by concluding the last elements of the rule book for putting the Paris Agreement into operation.

“The third was to strengthen the public and private financial flows that will allow developing countries to leapfrog to clean economies, adapt to unavoided climate change and manage the impacts more and more are experiencing today.

“On all three fronts we have seen significant progress.

“The Paris Rule Book is finally complete, including the Article 6 rules for international cooperation through markets and policy linkages that proved so hard to cement at Katowice and Madrid. There was a risk that Article 6 would either be so loose that markets were flooded with dodgy credits, or so burdensome that it would never be used. The actual outcome is a solidly workable set of rules with high integrity.

“Article 6 is the bedrock for international cooperation that can ease nation’s paths to net zero and unlock commitments to get there faster. Article 6 is essential legal infrastructure if Australia is going to export carbon sequestration in our forests, soils and subsurface; or indeed if we are going to import units to smooth out our own journey.

“Finance discussions were difficult, as they always are. But strong signals have been sent by national governments, multilateral institutions and the private sector that financial flows for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage are going to grow substantially and soon. The Australian Government and Australian investors will need to play their parts in that. Article 6 provides one important platform for that.

“On raising the ambition of national commitments to emissions cuts there has been dramatic progress. When parties left the Madrid COP two years ago their commitments were perhaps not even enough to keep global temperature rises to 2.8 degrees. As they leave Glasgow now, the International Energy Agency suggests their commitments will lower that to 1.8 degrees – close to the global goal.

“But that is only if current long term pledges are matched with strong medium term targets and effective implementation policies.

“To close the remaining gap, the Glasgow deal acknowledges that staying within 1.5 degrees requires global emissions reductions of 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level. And it requests all nations to come back in 2022 with stronger 2030 commitments towards the global goal.

“Australia has lifted our 2050 goal, but our core 2030 commitment remains as it was in 2015. We will need to update it before COP27 in Egypt to ensure we are in the main stream of advanced economies.

“After a year of working with industry, investors, farmers, unions, social services and environment groups on successful transition, Ai Group is confident that Australians collectively have pathways to get there and the know-how and goodwill to make it happen. We will keep working with them, and with all levels of government and all sides of politics, to both slash emissions and build shared prosperity,” Mr Willox said.

Source: Ai Group

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