Research & policy

Meeting the climate change challenge

The scientific evidence for global warming is unequivocal. To avoid the widespread and dangerous impacts of climate change, strong action is required by policy-makers and industry, for it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause.

Mitigation responses are critical to reduce the rate of warming in the global climate system. Adaptation responses are necessary to reduce the impact of current and future climate-related stresses and manage future climate change risks.

Australia’s mitigation and adaptation efforts will be strongly enhanced by the timely adoption and further advancement of technological and scientific innovations, supported by government policy settings that encourage investment in technologies already available.

The Paris Agreement came into force in 2016, with its central aim to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. To meet its initial target under the Paris Agreement, Australia has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

With strong leadership from government and active participation by industry, Australia is well placed to meet the challenges and be a leader in capturing the opportunities in effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.

We have identified four key principles that will help drive Australia’s response to climate change. These require a commitment by industry and government to:

  • Adopt long-term bipartisan policies and programs that encourage the actions and investments needed for rapid and intensive deployment of technologies and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change
  • Inform and test mitigation and adaptation responses, using leading edge climate modelling and prediction techniques (which should be enhanced in areas where Australia has recognised leadership or unique needs)
  • Increase support for low-emissions technology research, development and demonstration, prioritising areas where Australia has recognised leadership or unique needs
  • Support Australian participation in cooperative international programs focused on developing solutions to climate change

Find out more about our work on climate change.