Australia Has Finally Woken Up to Climate Change

Rate this post

One of Labor’s election promises for energy and emissions is to strengthen the existing cap-and-trade system for large carbon emitters, known as the Safeguard Mechanism. As a result, major polluters must buy or lease carbon credits to offset any direct emissions that exceed an agreed baseline. The work plan is to reduce the emission baselines of these emitters over time. “Then the government will have to resist industry pressure to keep the ambition low,” Jotzo says, warning that the industry will push hard for the baselines to be provided.

This is exactly what happened under the coalition government after establishing this boundary and exchange scheme. Companies were constantly pressured to adjust their baselines, and ultimately resulted in a 32 percent increase in emissions they were allowed to produce.

Another pillar of Labor’s electoral platform was its National Electric Vehicle Strategy. By 2020, less than 1.4 per cent of all light vehicles sold in Australia were electric vehicles, compared to about three-quarters of all light vehicles sold that year in Norway. Overall, only 0.12 per cent of all light vehicles in Australia are electric. Manufacturers such as Volkswagen have been barred from entering the Australian market due to a lack of incentives for electric vehicles.

So at the time of the election, Labor pledged to eliminate import tariffs and reduce taxes on some electric vehicles, and to speed up the deployment of charging infrastructure. But they haven’t gone far enough, Jotzo says. “They have not committed to doing what in many countries is the main driver of the adoption of electric cars, and that is to introduce emission standards for the entire fleet,” he says. Requiring all car manufacturers to meet emissions targets across their range encourages massive investment in electric models to offset emissions from petrol and diesel models.

But the biggest fly in Australia’s climate action ointment is its reserves of fossil fuels, especially coal and gas, and the question of how the country can make a safe and trouble-free transition for both domestic and non-domestic use. to export.

“Because it’s an extractive resource, the government owns it, it generates copyright for the government, and renewables don’t,” says Samantha Hepburn, a professor and expert in mining and energy law at Deakin University in Melbourne. In contrast, renewable projects will generate very little revenue for the government. “When it comes to energy transition, I don’t think this phrase really captures it: it’s a revolution.”

During the coalition government some progress was made on renewable energy. A long-term renewable energy target required large-scale energy producers to generate 33 terawatts-hours of renewable energy by 2020, and this was easily achieved in 2019. But the absence of a new This created a climate of uncertainty in the renewables sector, which led to a drop in investment in new projects.

Powering Australia’s labor policy now promises to upgrade the grid to enable better integration of renewable energy, invest in community-owned solar banks and batteries across the country, and deploy low-emission technologies.

But the current global gas crisis, precipitated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has plunged Australia into a world of energy misery, largely self-made. There are no export controls on its extensive East Coast gas reserves, which are now sold at incredible prices on the international market, with no reserves for domestic use. As a result, domestic gas prices have skyrocketed and there is still not enough renewable energy to recover. Meanwhile, Australia’s aging coal-fired power plant network has been steadily shrinking over the past decade.

Source link

Leave a Comment