Latest News

Back to Latest News back


New Climate Council report shows Australia must triple its climate goal this decade

New Climate Council report shows Australia must triple its climate goal this decade
April 15, 2021

A new Climate Council report - ‘Aim High, Go fast: Why emissions need to plummet this decade’ -concludes that Australia must triple its emissions cuts within the next decade and reach net zero emissions soon after to protect Australians from the impacts of accelerating climate change. Australia is effectively standing still, while the rest of the world-including strategic allies and trading partners-race towards net zero emissions.

As momentum for climate action grows around the world, the ‘Aim High, Go fast: Why emissions need to plummet this decade’ report explains why all efforts to stabilise the climate system should focus on steps taken in the 2020s. A smart, achievable, and scientifically-backed contribution from Australia is a 75% cut in emissions (below 2005 levels) by 2030, and reaching net zero emissions by 2035.

Lead author and Climate Council spokesman, Professor Will Steffen, said Australia was already experiencing the deadly consequences of global warming, with worsening megafires, floods, and heatwaves affecting communities across the country.

Professor Steffen notes “there is no safe level of global warming, and every fraction of a degree of avoided heating matters. In fact, the actions Australia and the rest of the world take this decade will determine if the climate system can be stabilised at a level that minimises the risk of catastrophic impacts such as abrupt, irreversible changes.

Professor Steffen said moving slowly in addressing climate change would harm Australians almost as badly as not acting at all.

“Australia is effectively standing still, while the rest of the world-including our strategic allies and trading partners-race towards net zero emissions. Our country is incredibly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and if we act swiftly we can join the global effort to not only minimise further harm but we can also set ourselves up for a prosperous future.

“We have the natural resources, technology, and skills to become a world leader in renewable technologies and clean industries. We can create jobs and economic opportunities here, and export our solutions to other countries to accelerate their progress too.

“We are seeing leadership-from states and territories, from communities and from many businesses. They’ve shown us what can be achieved when we’re determined. They are already enjoying the many benefits that decarbonizing our economy delivers such as regional jobs, cleaner cities and cheaper power.

“It’s time for Australia to get ahead of the curve, and act swiftly and decisively on global warming. Ultimately, this is about protecting Australian lives, protecting our unique ecosystems and wildlife, and safeguarding livelihoods. This is what acting in our national interests looks like.”

Report key findings:

1. Climate change is accelerating with deadly consequences. The ecological systems that have sustained human life and societies for generations are being severely damaged by increasing heat and worsening extreme weather events.

  • There is no safe level of global warming. Already, at a global average temperature rise of 1.1°C, we’re experiencing more powerful storms, destructive marine and land heatwaves, and a new age of megafires.
  • Multiple lines of evidence strongly suggest the global average temperature rise will exceed 1.5°C during the 2030s.
  • Should temperatures spike above 1.5°C for a significant period of time, critical ecosystems on which we depend (such as the Great Barrier Reef) would be even more severely damaged, or destroyed.
  • Every fraction of a degree of avoided warming matters, and will be measured in lives, species and ecosystems lost or saved. We must do everything possible to deeply and rapidly cut our emissions, while also preparing for climate impacts that can no longer be avoided.
  • There’s little time left to limit global warming below catastrophic temperature rises. Breaching 1.5°C of warming significantly increases the risk of triggering abrupt, dangerous and irreversible changes to the climate system.

2. Our response must match the scale and urgency of this worsening situation. Action to deeply reduce emissions this decade will determine whether the climate system can or cannot be stabilised at warming of well below 2°C.

  • While action is increasing in Australia and world-wide, it remains too slow and not enough. Protecting Australians from the worsening effects of climate change requires all governments, businesses, industries and communities to strongly step up their activities to deeply reduce emissions during the 2020s.
  • The lion’s share of the effort to get to net zero emissions needs to happen this decade. Delaying further than we have already would mean that even more rapid and disruptive action to reduce emissions is required later.
  • Governments, business and industry are committing increasingly to net zero targets. However, timeframes for these commitments are generally too long. The world achieving net zero by 2050 is at least a decade too late and carries a strong risk of irreversible global climate disruption at levels inconsistent with maintaining well-functioning human societies.
  • Australian governments, businesses, industries and communities can and must cut emissions deeply. Given the scale of the global emissions reduction task, and taking into account Australia’s very high level of emissions and our huge renewable energy resources, Australia should aim to reduce emissions by 75% below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2035. This is a fair and achievable contribution to the global task and an imperative given our high vulnerability to escalating extreme weather.

3. As momentum for climate action gathers speed around the world, all efforts must now focus on steps that can be taken this decade.

  • The change in US government has ushered in a new era of international cooperation on climate change. All commitments must be scaled up, and the pace of action must accelerate if we are to avoid the worst climate consequences.
  • Australian state and local governments as well as many leading business and community groups are already providing vital leadership in implementing climate solutions.
  • Many of Australia’s strategic allies and major trading partners (including the US, EU, UK, Canada) have strengthened their climate commitments for this decade, or intend to do so. The Australian Federal Government is standing still, and alone.
  • Australia, as a major emitter in its own right and a giant of the global fossil fuel economy, has a major role to play in the global effort to stabilise the climate. Bold and decisive climate action ultimately protects us and is in our national interest.

4. Australia has everything it needs to act swiftly and decisively to help avert climate catastrophe, and prosper in a global clean economy.

  • Australia has unrivalled potential for renewable energy, new clean industries, and clean jobs. We need to rapidly scale up the energy transition and advance solutions in other sectors including transport and agriculture.
  • Climate leadership from states and territories has shown what works, and the benefits that decarbonising our economy can bring, such as regional jobs, cleaner cities and cheaper power. It’s time for a concerted national push, and for the federal government to work with other tiers of government, along with industry and communities, to rapidly step up this work and deliver much deeper cuts in emissions.
  • Despite our natural advantages, we are being left behind in the new, clean economy race. Urgently ramping up our ambition is fundamental both to Australia’s economic future, and to ensure our children and grandchildren can not only survive but thrive.
  • The change will not always be smooth. There are political, technical and other challenges ahead because action has been delayed. However, the alternative – a decision to not do enough, or to delay – will lead to massive climate disruption. Catastrophic outcomes for humanity cannot be ruled out if we fail to meet the climate challenge this decade.

To access the full report click here


Related Articles

4th March 2021 - Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast partner to tackle climate change

25th February 2021 - Climate Council releases new report on the affects of climate change on Australian Sport

22nd February 2021 - Christchurch Council outlines their collective climate change approach

1st December 2020 - Singapore enters into a climate change bilateral Dialogue with the United Kingdom

26th November 2020 - Darwin Lord Mayor calls for immediate action on Climate Change to mitigate impacts on facilities and environment

2nd August 2020 - Sentosa Golf Club first to join sign up to United Nations Sports for Climate Action Initiative

5th July 2020 - Former Socceroo pushes forĀ 2023 Women’s World Cup to amplify climate change urgency

7th April 2020 - Reef tourism industry and conservationists demand climate action following release of new bleaching survey

28th February 2020 - Australian Marine Conservation Society calls for a Reef-safe climate policy

20th January 2020 - New report aims to prompt recognition of climate change threat to Australian Open

30th December 2019 - Research finds Australian cricket not ready for challenges of climate change

6th December 2019 - Tourism Report calls for more effective climate change strategies to save our oceans

4th December 2019 - World Travel and Tourism Council calls for Climate Neutrality by 2050

16th October 2019 - Councils and water industry call for national water focus amid climate change

20th September 2019 - MINDBODY backs Climate Strike as part of commitment to all forms of wellness

20th September 2019 - International sport bodies unite to combat climate change

18th September 2019 - New report highlights the increased threat of climate change on Australian wildlife

10th September 2019 - New report highlights the impact of climate change on cricket

5th July 2019 - Massive tree planting has potential to tackle climate crisis

26th June 2019 - Research shows Great Barrier Reef visitors understand climate threat

6th June 2019 - Tennis Australia commits to United Nations climate change action

22nd May 2019 - Jane Goodall visits Adelaide Zoo and shares her thoughts on climate change

16th May 2019 - University of Queensland predicts climate change could cause the extinction of 26 species

6th February 2019 - Climate change set to impact Australia’s summer sporting calendar

22nd May 2018 - QTIC event to launch tourism industry climate change response plan

26th April 2018 - WTTC and UN Climate Change in new partnership to tackle global warming

10th February 2018 - Queensland tourism operators committed to tackling climate change issues

9th February 2018 - Climate change threatening Australian tourism

6th August 2017 - Alpine resorts invest in snowmaking to reduce impact of climate change

12th June 2017 - PATA reaffirms support for Paris Climate Change Accord

4th November 2016 - Addressing climate change a must for sustainable tourism programs

27th June 2016 - Climate change a massive threat to global heritage and tourism

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist integrator and contractor in sound reinforcement, audio visual systems, performance lighting and production communications. Over its almost 50 year history the company…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



SPORTENG specialises in the Planning, Design and Construction inspection of Fields of Play for all sports. Blending engineering with the specialist knowledge gained from working closely with sport…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces / Venues



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business