Protect Our Winters Australia aligns itself and its policy positions with the best available science in order to shape a future that protects our alpine environment and in doing so enables a sustainable snow sports community and industry.
At the heart of POW Australia are three simple goals: to protect Australian winters; Net Zero by 2035 and to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. While our theory of change recognises the importance of individual action through cultural change and the movement of business towards sustainability, we also recognise the central role of policy and governance in the fight for greater climate action. It is for this reason that POW Australia puts forward our position on Australia’s national climate policies and targets; targets that we see as crucial in pursuing increased action on climate change across all sectors of the economy.
Though climate change and its impacts are characterised by its global, multi-faceted and complex nature, the base of climate action globally as well as for individual nations is made up of several simple targets being temperature, net-zero and interim targets. As well as these three targets POW Australia firmly believes that Australia cannot be a legitimate campaigner for climate action without a clear position on fossil fuel production. These four themes make up our Key Positions.
Position Statement – Align Australia’s climate policies with limiting global warming to no more than 1.5c above pre-industrial levels.
Temperature target refers to the global average temperature limit (in degrees celsius) that POW Australia believes the Australian government should align its climate policies with. The science on Australia’s winters is clear – they do not have a reliable future in a 2c+ degree world. As a signatory of The Paris Agreement, Australia signed up to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” Though this language allows nations, including Australia, to lag in climate ambition and focus on a 2 degree pathway, POW Australia aligns its view with the scientific community that all effort must be put towards a 1.5c pathway to mitigate the greatest risks of climate change impacts and save Australia’s winters.
Position Statement – Australia must achieve Net-Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, with particular focus on avoidance and mitigation of emissions over offsetting and deep cuts in emissions this decade.
Net-zero emissions refers to the balance struck between greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) that are produced and released into the atmosphere and GHGs that are taken out of the atmosphere. To be net-zero a nation must remove from the atmosphere as much GHGs as it releases. Australia’s current net-zero target is 2050; a target that is well-short of aligning our emissions pathway with a 1.5c world. POW Australia (alongside other science-backed organisations such as The Climate Council and Climateworks) believes for Australia to credibly align its policies with a 1.5c world, a target of Net-zero by 2035 is necessary with deep cuts this decade being crucial to mitigating severe climate impacts.
Position Statement – Australia should update its Nationally Determined Contribution for 2030 to 75% and make its 2035 target Net-Zero.
Interim targets, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), are Australia’s emissions reduction targets between now and net-zero. Two key interim targets are 2030 and 2035. Australia’s current legislated 2030 target is a 43% reduction in emissions below 2005 levels. POW Australia believes that like Australia’s net-zero target, our interim targets should be aligned with a 1.5c world – where climate impacts are minimised. We therefore put forward that Australia’s 2030 NDC should be updated to 75% and its 2035 target to net-zero.
Position Statement – The Australian government, in line with the best available science, should endorse the Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and not allow any new fossil fuel production in Australia, while simultaneously pivoting our export base from fossil fuels to low-emissions exports.
Not only is Australia’s energy system based primarily off fossil fuels, but we are also one of the largest fossil fuel exporters in the world. Being the primary driver of climate change, POW Australia maintains that the Australian government must take a strong stance on fossil fuel production in Australia if we are to curb the worst impacts of climate change on our Australian Alps. We put forward that in line with the best available science, the Australian Government should endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, disallowing any new fossil fuel production in Australia. Treating climate change at the source and transitioning deeply and rapidly to a renewable energy based society is key to all projected 1.5c pathways.