Experts say Australia must drastically accelerate its emissions reductions to meet Paris Agreement goals. 

International researchers have warned that Australia needs to intensify its efforts to reduce emissions by more than 30 times faster than it did from 2013 to 2019 to align with the Paris Agreement. 

A study examined 11 high-income countries, including Australia, that have managed to "decouple" emissions from economic growth. 

It revealed that these nations, including Australia, are falling far short of the emissions reduction targets necessary to limit global warming to below 2°C. 

Australia is cited as one of the worst performers in this group.

The researchers argue that the pursuit of continuous economic growth in high-income countries is at odds with the imperative to reduce emissions effectively and equitably, challenging the notion of “green growth”. 

If current trends persist, it would take these nations over 200 years on average to achieve near-zero emissions, significantly exceeding their fair share of the global carbon budget outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The study says that high-income countries must transition to a “post-growth” climate policy that prioritises sufficiency, fairness, and well-being. 

This approach necessitates scaling down energy-intensive production, reducing consumption disparities, expanding renewable energy deployment, and ensuring universal access to public services. 

Additionally, shifting away from private cars and emphasising public transit and sustainable farming practices are recommended steps to accelerate emission reductions.

The authors contend that this shift is vital to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown while promoting fairness and well-being. 

Unlike high-income nations, lower-income countries with lower emissions per capita have a better chance of staying within their carbon budget fair shares while striving for human development objectives.