Australian government response to climate change

Australian government response to climate change

For more than a decade, the Australian Government has pursued a range of policies and related initiatives as part of its response to climate change. These operate in conjunction with policies and initiatives implemented at state and territory level.

The election of the Rudd Government in 2007 saw a major change of Australian Government policy through Australia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. In terms of specific initiatives, one of the earlier measures that continues today is the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET) scheme, which has developed into the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme, and targets 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020 for Australia's electricity supply.

The Government is also promoting energy effieciency measures through a range of programs and rebates.

Since its re-election in 2010, the Government has established a new Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, tasked with investigating 'options for implementing a carbon price and to help build consensus on how Australia will tackle climate change'.

Supporting the overall effort is the Government's financial assistance to further develop various technologies and for various household-related measures. The Minister responsible for climate change policy is the Honourable Greg Combet MP. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is located within the Prime Minister’s portfolio.


3 November 2010
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