THE Federal Government has today ruled out a deep cut to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, believing the world will not get its act together on climate change soon.

The Government has set an absolute maximum cut to emissions of 15 per cent by 2020 – if the world signs an effective climate pact – in its greenhouse plan released today.

If no pact is signed, Australia will go with an unconditional 5 per cent cut in emissions.

These targets fly in the face of calls from scientists for countries to slash their emissions by 25 to 40 per cent to avert catastrophic climate change.

The Government says it’s unlikely the world can forge a strong greenhouse agreement so its targets are realistic.

“A fair and effective global agreement delivering deep cuts in emissions … would be in Australia’s interests,” the plan says.

“Achieving global commitment to emissions reductions of this order appears unlikely in the next commitment period.”

The Full White document can be viewed at: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/whitepaper/index.html