Australia is one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world due to its reliance on coal for energy. The country has been under increasing pressure to address climate change and participate in worldwide efforts to reduce carbon emissions. One of the most significant global agreements to address climate change is the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 and has been ratified by many countries around the world. But has Australia ratified the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also aims to strengthen countries` ability to deal with the impacts of climate change, and to promote sustainable development.
Australia was one of the countries that helped negotiate the Paris Agreement and played a prominent role at the conference. However, when it comes to ratification, Australia has been slow to act. The Australian government signed the agreement in April 2016, but it took over a year for the government to ratify the treaty, which finally happened on 9 November 2016.
The delay in ratification was due to political tensions within the Australian government, with some members of parliament opposing the agreement. However, the decision to ratify the Paris Agreement was ultimately made in response to public pressure and the country`s international obligations.
Ratifying the Paris Agreement means that Australia is legally bound to meet the goals of the treaty, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, many critics have argued that the government`s current policies do not align with the Paris Agreement`s goals. For example, Australia`s reliance on coal for energy and the government`s support for new coal projects are in direct conflict with the Paris Agreement`s aim to reduce carbon emissions.
Furthermore, since ratification, Australia has been criticized for not doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. In 2019, the country`s greenhouse gas emissions increased for the fourth consecutive year, making it more difficult for Australia to meet its Paris Agreement targets.
In conclusion, Australia has ratified the Paris Agreement, but its current policies and actions have been criticized for not aligning with the treaty`s goals. It remains to be seen whether the Australian government will take more significant steps to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement and address the pressing issue of climate change.