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International climate change commitments

Australia is playing its part in the global challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Committed to the Paris Agreement

Australia is party to the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement came into force in 2016. It was a major step forward in international efforts to address climate change. Other international treaties are the:

The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by:

  • holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
  • pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C.

Nationally Determined Contributions

Under the Paris Agreement, Australia must submit emissions reduction commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). These include our national target.

Australia’s first NDC is on the UNFCCC registry:

  • 2015 NDC: committed to reduce emissions by 26 to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • 2020 NDC update: affirmed the 2030 target, outlined Australia’s practical, technology-led approach to emission reductions, include new actions and measures since 2015.
  • 2021 NDC update: committed to net zero emissions by 2050, inscribed low emissions technology stretch goals, affirmed the 2030 target, and reported 2021 projections results showing Australia is on track to exceed this target by up to 9 percentage points.

Australia will submit its second NDC to the UNFCCC in 2025.

Meeting Australia’s obligations

Our department works with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture, Water and Energy to negotiate and meet Australia’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.

Our role includes:

We also participate in a range of multilateral forums and bilateral partnerships to promote Australia’s climate change interests. These partnerships strengthen the global response to climate change.

Australia-Singapore Low Emissions Memorandum of Understanding

Our department is delivering a MoU with Singapore to advance cooperation on low emissions technologies and solutions. This agreement builds on Australia and Singapore’s comprehensive strategic partnership and demonstrates our shared ambition to drive low-emissions solutions to support an effective global climate change response.

The MoU will support the development and uptake of new and emerging low emissions technologies with practical collaboration on:

  • hydrogen
  • carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS)
  • renewable energy trade
  • measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions.

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Last updated: 18 November 2021

Content ID: 67487