Tony Abbott says Australia's target for carbon emissions is 'the best in the world'

Tony Abbott. Photo: Getty Images

The federal government announced a target to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2030 this week.

The new goal — down from the previous 30% — was hailed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott who said the government’s objective was to put jobs and growth first, but came under fire from the Climate Change Authority.

The CCA said Government could adopt “more ambitious targets” recommending reductions of 45-63% by 2030.

“Along with other countries, Australia has agreed to work towards reducing emissions to levels consistent with limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — this remains a challenging task,” said authority chair Bernie Fraser in a statement.

But in his address at the South Australia Liberal Party annual meeting yesterday, Abbott said that Australia was “well and truly on track to meet or beat our 2020 target of a 13% reduction of emissions on 2005 levels”.

Abbott said the new targets for 2030 was “immeasurably better” than China and Japan and even went so far as to call it “the best in the world”.

Here’s what he said:

When it comes to emissions per capita, our target – a target that we are absolutely confident that we can and will meet – is the best in the world. So, let’s not have anyone say that this is a Government which is indifferent to environmental outcomes. This Government cares passionately about the environment. We only have one planet. We must leave it in better shape for our children and our grandchildren but the last thing we should ever do is clobber the economy to protect the environment because if we clobber the economy, the environment will surely suffer.

Australia’s emissions per person will decline by at least 50% between 2005 and 2030, while emissions per unit of GDP will fall by 64%.

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