As the clock struck midnight the Kyoto period officially came to a close, heralding the start of the Paris agreement era.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said initial estimates show the government has beaten its 2020 goal by 11430 million tonnes, or about 80 percent of a year’s emissions.
The 2020 goal was a five per cent reduction on 2000 levels.
Taylor says Australians should be proud.
“Australia is committed to playing our role to reduce global emissions and we will do this without imposing new costs on households, businesses or the economy,” he said.
The next goal is the Paris target, which is a 26 to 28 percent reduction on 2005 level emissions by 2030.
The Morrison government plans to use credit from meeting an earlier emissions reduction goal towards that target.
The government’s own climate change agency has urged against using the carryover credits.
The nation’s targets:
* Kyoto 1 – An eight percent rise from 1990 levels by 2008/12. Emissions instead increased by three percent on the baseline.
* Kyoto 2 – A 0.5 percent reduction on 1990 levels by 2020.
* Australia’s own target – five percent below 2000 levels by 2020.
* Paris target – 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Rebecca Gredley in Canberra