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Australia should “follow” Obama’s Clean Power Plan

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is a significant step in regulating carbon pollution and a welcome boost for international climate negotiations but the US can and should do more, according to The Climate Institute.

“President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is an historic and significant step in regulating carbon pollution reductions from power stations and in strengthening requirements for renewable energy,” said CEO John Connor.

“The plan will help boost momentum for international climate negotiations but needs to be seen as part of broader US efforts which are significant but will need to be strengthened to bring into line with the target of avoid 2°C warming agreed to by the more than 190 countries taking part.”

The USA’s current international undertakings imply a 40 per cent emissions reduction below 2005 levels by by 2030 to help achieve its stated 80 percent target by 2050.

“The plan comes as Australia is set to decide on its post 2020 climate pollution targets next week. Australia should follow the US in setting a 2025 target to maximise flexibility to take advantage of developments in technology, global carbon markets and policy,” Mr Connor said.

“Our analysis recommends that, to do our bit in helping achieve the internationally agreed goal of avoiding 2°C warming, Australia should set a target of 45 per cent reduction off 2005 levels by 2025.

“Central to Australia’s response must be a plan to modernise and decarbonise our power sector which is propped up by aging and highly polluting coal fired power plants.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is the signal it sends on global trends, the focus is growing internationally on modernising energy systems with growing regulation on carbon pollution and greater incentives for renewables.”

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