If it intends to be serious about its Paris commitments, Australia needs a targeted strategy to replace coal fired power with clean energy by 2035.
These are the recommendations put forward by the country’s Climate Institute as it released its submission to the Climate Change Authority’s review of Australia’s policy framework.
“Global temperatures are smashing records right now and Australia’s emissions are rising again,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. “The nation’s climate and energy policies lack the credible objectives, the tools and the urgency needed to back recent international commitments, let alone build an innovative, safer, zero pollution Australian economy.”
The Climate Change Authority released the second draft report of its Special Review on Australia’s climate goals and policies in November 2015, as requested by the Minister for the Environment. The Authority is looking at a full range of policies, including the various types of emissions trading schemes currently at work around the world. The Climate Institute’s submission to the review (PDF) focused “on the implications for future policy of the Paris Agreement and Australia’s commitment to it.” The Institute’s conclusion was that “Australia currently lacks a clear strategy to manage the risks and opportunities of a net zero emissions world.”
“We need to move beyond arguments about the value of carbon pricing and provide a policy framework that can do the job,” continued John Connor. “There can be no durable policy framework without an objective for zero emissions; carbon budget analysis; and electricity market direct action to replace our ageing and inefficient coal burning power stations with clean energy. Carbon prices are important, but we need to be aware of their limitation in current political and investment realities.”
Further discussion is vital for Australia as it moves forward, especially in the face of policies that appear for all the world to be moving backwards. “Discussion around Australia’s domestic policy setting, post the adoption of Paris Agreement, is an opportunity to look beyond the short-term and examine the ultimate objectives of national climate change policy,” the authors concluded.
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