Australia announces pollution cut targets

From the New York Times, on Monday, December 15, 2008:

Australia announced plans Monday to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 5 to 15 percent by 2020, angering environmental groups that had lobbied for much deeper cuts.

In a policy statement, the government said the final target would depend on whether developed and developing nations, including major emitters like China and India, could agree to binding reductions under a new United Nations climate treaty next year.

If the world acts together to forge deep cuts, Australia will reduce its emissions by 15 percent of its 2000 levels over 10 years starting in 2010. If there is no agreement, Australia will cut emissions by 5 percent over the same period.

No matter what the short-term target is, the government said it was committed to reducing emissions by 60 percent from 2000 levels by 2050.

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