NSW Government’s new 2035 emissions reduction target a welcome push for greater federal climate ambition


The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) has today welcomed the NSW Government’s new 2035 commitment for 70% emissions reduction by 2035, which alongside Victoria’s 75% 2035 reduction commitment is a key signpost for the national ambition necessary if Australia is to do its part in helping limit warming to 1.5°C.

“We congratulate Minister Kean on the delivery of this Net Zero Plan Implementation Update and encourage other sub-national governments to follow this strong lead” said CMI’s CEO John Connor. “Sub-national action is crucial to reinforcing economy-wide policy and investment signals, while bolstering Australia’s capacity to meet much stronger national 2035 targets to be set by 2025”.

By increasing its emissions reductions targets, the NSW Government has demonstrated critical foresight that future economic prosperity requires decarbonised supply chains. The associated plan deploys an important sectoral approach as we look to decarbonisation pathways beyond the electricity sector.

The updated NSW plan addresses industrial and agricultural activities, while also highlighting carbon sequestration activities such as blue carbon and coastal restoration as key outcomes. Additional measures to safeguard tracts of national forest are welcomed as an acknowledgement of the significant role these forests can play is tackling the twin biodiversity and climate crises.

This plan can be strengthened further with robust and scalable national policies including reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism, which can drive industrial decarbonisation, and eventually emission reduction in other sectors. The release of the draft design for the enhanced Safeguard Mechanism in early January is keenly awaited. Alongside a national market-based framework, state programs such as the NSW Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program will play a pivotal role in facilitating an economically efficient transition to ensure that Australian industry remains competitive in a carbon-constrained global economy.

Quotes attributable to CEO John Connor:

“State policies and programs present significant potential to support the development and integrity of Australia’s carbon crediting framework. State and national plans need to begin converging around net negative, not just net zero objectives, and land-based natural sequestration will be an important permanent activity for this.

“With the release of this updated Implementation Plan, the NSW Government can play an important role in supporting the development of fit-for-purpose guidance for businesses to effectively navigate the transition towards net zero emissions in alignment with international best practice. In concert with all Australian governments, CMI encourages the NSW Government to expand its business decarbonisation support program, to provide authoritative guidance on decarbonisation pathways, standards and taxonomy.

CMI looks forward to continuing to engage with the NSW Government and other jurisdictions to accelerate the use of market-based solutions and support best practice in decarbonisation.”

About the Carbon Market Institute

The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) is a member-based institute accelerating the transition towards a negative emissions, nature positive world. It champions best practice in carbon markets and climate policy, and its nearly 150 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous organisations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries. The positions put forward constitute CMI’s independent view and do not purport to represent any CMI individual, member company, or industry sector. CMI’s latest Advocacy Policy Positions Statement can be viewed here.

The CMI office will be closed from 23/12 – 3/1. For any non-urgent enquiries, please email Thomas Hann at thomas.hann@carbonmarketinstitute.org. Otherwise, if your matter is urgent, please contact John Connor at john.connor@carbonmarketinstitute.org

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