Setting Australia’s emissions reduction targets

This year, Australia and other countries will announce new emissions reduction targets for the period beyond 2020 as its contribution to the global task of addressing climate change.

The Minister for the Environment has asked the Climate Change Authority to recommend targets for Australia. This requires a broad assessment of relevant evidence and value judgments. Targets must be adequate to the challenge identified by climate science, comparable to the efforts of other countries and balanced in light of the costs and benefits of reducing Australia’s emissions. In April, the Authority will release its draft report on post-2020 targets for consultation. At this public forum, the panel discussed the Authority’s draft recommendations and considered how Australia should contribute to global climate action.


Shayleen Thompson is the Acting CEO of the Climate Change Authority. Shayleen has extensive experience in international and domestic climate change policy and programs with both state and Commonwealth governments. She has served as a lead negotiator on land issues for the Kyoto Protocol and has worked on the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and the Renewable Energy Target.  More recently Shayleen led work on the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Erwin Jackson is Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute. With over 20 years practical experience in climate change policy and research, Erwin has developed and led many national and international programs aimed at reducing greenhouse pollution. This work has been undertaken in Australia, Europe, North and South America, the Pacific and Antarctica. He has represented non-governmental groups and advised government and business in national, regional and international fora, including being a non-governmental expert reviewer of the reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has sat on research advisory committees on low emission technology deployment for the CSIRO and the University of Queensland’s Centre for Low Emission Technology.

Tony Wood is the Energy Program Director at Grattan Institute. Since 2011 he and his team have delivered major reports on energy and climate change and he has developed a strong profile with governments and industry, and is a regular contributor in major media on key energy issues. From 2009 until October 2014, he also retained a role as Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies such as solar and CCS. Prior to these roles, he spent 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles covering retail and LPG line management and corporate affairs. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut review.