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ATSE urges net zero target to be brought forward 15 years

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The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) has recommended that the federal government be more ambitious with its decarbonisation goals and commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035  rather than 2050

The Learned Academy representing almost 900 of Australia’s applied science, technology and engineering professionals announced a new position statement on Thursday, recommending “immediate, substantial and concerted action to rescue the dwindling window for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

The nation currently has legislated target of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent (based on 2005 levels) by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.

(The Becoming a Net Zero Nation position statement is accessible here.)

Coinciding with the beginning of the UN Climate Ambition Summit in New York, the Academy has said that evidence on limiting climate change must be heeded, and more be done “to drive technological innovation, catalyse regulatory change, upskill the workforce, roll out the necessary infrastructure and spur a massive boost to investment across the economy”.

“This science-based target will set a critical benchmark for Australian action, incentivising investment and giving a clear signpost to industry and governments to drive rapid deployment of existing and mature low-carbon technologies, as well as rolling out emerging technologies and exports, said ATSE President Dr Katherine Woodthorpe of the net zero by 2035 recommendation.

“To meet this ambition, with the Federal Government in the driver’s seat, Australia should prioritise upskilling our workforce, and develop and urgently apply evidence-based solutions across all industry sectors – particularly in energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, minerals and agriculture.

“Meeting this target will be a monumental challenge, but with immediate and large-scale action to invest in skills and infrastructure, as well as political, policy and regulatory support at all levels, it is achievable.

Picture: credit 5B

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