Climate Change Mitigation
Climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emission of GHGs through the use of new technologies and renewable energies, making older equipment more energy efficient, or changing management practices or consumer behaviour.
As climate change is a global issue, a global response is required. As a nation, Australia is responsible for around 1.3 per cent of global GHG emissions. GHG emissions are linked with growth in population and the economy (Commonwealth of Australia 2013).
Under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2012-2020), Australia is on-track to meet its commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emission by five per cent of 2000 levels (representing a 13 per cent reduction in 2005 levels) by 2020 from sequestration, emission avoidance or emission reduction activities.
As part of Australia’s global contribution to maintain global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius, Australia submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) 2030 target in August 2015. Under this target, Australia has committed to reduce GHG emissions by 26 – 28 per cent below 2005 levels (including land-use, land-use change and forestry).
The Australian Government is aiming to achieve these targets through a suite of policies and programs including:
- The Renewable Energy Target: An Australian Government scheme aimed at reducing GHG emissions in the electricity sector and encouraging the use of renewable energy sources (such as wind, solar and hydro), in order to ensure that by 2020 a minimum of 33,000 GWh, or 23.5 per cent, of Australia’s electricity is generated from these sources
- The National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS): Provides best practice guidance on measuring, reducing, offsetting, reporting and auditing of carbon emissions
- Energy efficiency standards that apply to appliances, equipment and buildings
- The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF): A Government scheme that provides land managers with incentives to voluntarily take up practices and technologies that reduce GHG emissions.
Under the ERF the types of projects that can be undertaken are called methods and include:
- a generic method for emissions reductions at facilities reporting under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme
- capture and destruction of coal mine fugitive emissions
- reductions in emissions-intensity of transport
- commercial, industrial and aggregated energy efficiency
- capture and combustion of landfill gas and agricultural waste
- alternative treatment of organic waste
- capture and combustion of biogas from wastewater, and
- methods for the land sector, including increasing soil carbon, reducing livestock emissions, expanding opportunities for environmental and carbon sink plantings, and reforestation (© Clean Energy Regulator, Commonwealth of Australia).
A key mitigation initiative promoted in the NAR involves carbon sequestration, in which farmers and businesses are encouraged to protect patches of remnant vegetation and to introduce new plantings of native vegetation to gain low-risk entry into the carbon trading market.
A key mitigation project being undertaken in the NAR is Carbon Neutral’s Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor, a multi-species native revegetation project aimed at capturing carbon and enhancing biodiversity.
To find out more about the Australian Government’s response to climate change visit:
Further information on climate change mitigation practices can be found in the following DAFWA Fact Sheets: