Australian opposition rules out poll promise of cutting emissions by 43%

The Australian opposition has on Monday ruled out negotiating a greater carbon reduction target in an attempt to blunt a Coalition fear campaign, the officials said.

Anthony Albanese, the Centre-Left Labour Party leader, had said last week that his party would set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the country by 43% by the end of this decade, if the people of the country will vote for his party to form a government next year.

Labor’s climate and energy spokesman said the party would pledge to cut emissions by 43 percent by 2030 if elected in 2022, compared to the Coalition’s Abbott’s aim of a 26 percent to 28 percent reduction from 2005 levels.

Meanwhile on Monday, Chris Bowen, a senior Labor frontbencher, said his party had “paid a high price” in the “climate wars” over the previous decade, and that ending the “destructive” politics on the topic would be a key goal for a future Albanese government.

Bowen clearly ruled out such reforms, despite the prime minister’s attempt to frame the Labor vow as only a “opening offer” for post-election talks with the Greens.

When asked if the 43 percent threshold might be lowered to gain support in the lower house or the Senate, Bowen said, “No.”

Several studies have estimated that Australia should reduce emissions by at least 50% this decade, and very certainly much more, in order to help combat the catastrophe.

“Of course, science drives us,” Bowen said at the National Press Club in Canberra on Monday. “But we’re also driven by what’s possible coming into office in 2022 for a 2030 target.”

Despite a number of countries’ enhanced emissions reduction pledges in Glasgow, analysis shows that the world is still on course to exceed the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

When asked if Labor would consider a greater target in the future in response to international pressure for even more aggressive action, Bowen said the newly announced strategy was “what we’ll implement and legislation.”

He avoided making any precise future commitments, saying that a Labor government would set a new 2035 objective “at the proper moment.”

Pacific Island leaders see climate change as an existential threat and have pushed Australia’s government to take considerably more aggressive measures by 2030, including coal restrictions.

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