Climate change minister tells parliament official projection of 40% cut does not factor in all Labor’s policy commitments

Australia’s climate change minister, Chris Bowen, has declared the country on track to reach a 40% cut in climate pollution by 2030 – just short of the national target of 43% – but the government has been told a “big upward shift in momentum” is needed to tackle the problem.

Giving the country’s first climate statement to parliament, which is now required annually under legislation passed earlier this year, Bowen said the official projection of a 40% cut did not factor in all Labor’s policy commitments, and that those measures would “lift our result to at least 43%”.

The statement did not shed light on what the government would do to make deeper cuts in line with its goal of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, an expectation raised by a UN-backed report if the Great Barrier Reef is to avoid being nominated as a world heritage site “in danger”. It also did not mention the country’s vast coal and gas export industries.

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