Australia won’t raise carbon caps

The Australian government ruled out following Britain with a tougher target for reducing carbon emissions by 2050, Reuters reported. Business needs certainty over targets in the run-up to Australian carbon trading in mid-2010, and the country’s goal would not be changed, said climate change minister Penny Wong.


Speaking at a parliamentary hearing in Canberra, Wong said: “The government position is that 60%, particularly for an economy like Australia’s, is an ambitious target. It is the figure with which we went to the election, it is very clearly the figure that we have committed to and in relation to which we have a mandate." 


Last week, the British energy and climate minister, Ed Miliband, increased the United Kingdom’s 2050 target for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions to 80% from 60%, winning praise from green groups.


Australia plans to introduce one of the world’s most comprehensive emissions-trading schemes across its US$1 trillion economy in mid-2010 as part of its strategy to fight climate change and curb the greenhouse gases linked to it. However, conservation groups worry that the country’s yet-to-be announced interim target for 2020 will be too low to help the world avoid rising temperatures. 


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