US-China climate agreement- ANU experts

13 November 2014

The United States and China have struck a new deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions, with China committing to a cap for the first time and the US planning deeper emissions cuts of up to 28 per cent by 2025.

Australia has a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent by 2020, based on year 2000 levels, but could cut deeper if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal.

Associate Professor Frank Jotzo

Director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

“This is a big development with China and the USA both committing to ambitious climate action. The path is clear for a global climate agreement. All countries including Australia will be expected to make significant contributions and to back them up with public policy. It is a big transition but Australia can be prosperous in a low carbon world, and we need to search out the opportunities this provides."

Professor Ken Baldwin
Director, ANU Energy Change Institute
Deputy Director, ANU Climate Change Institute
ANU College of Physical & Mathematical Sciences

“This is an historic agreement between the world’s two biggest carbon emitters and demonstrates leadership ahead of negotiations on reducing global emissions in Paris in December next year. This agreement should trigger action by Australia to commit to deeper emissions cuts in response moves by other countries.

“Australia needs to make strenuous efforts in transforming its energy sector in order not to be left behind and become isolated by trade barriers. This includes retaining the current Renewable Energy Target, and placing a price on carbon such as through an emissions trading scheme.”

Dr Paul Burke
Crawford School of Public Policy
ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

“The world is looking to post-2020 emissions targets, and Australia is stuck with a weak target and without a durable policy to efficiently reduce emissions. Direct Action subsidies unfortunately aren’t up to the job of steering our economy toward a low-carbon outcome.”