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The budget should have been a road to Australiaís low-emissions future. Instead, itís a flight of fancy

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, writes in The Conversation (13.5.21) about the Coalition government's failure to offer sufficient support for emissions reduction initiatives in this week's federal budget.

'Looking at other nations around the world, the path to cutting greenhouse gas emissions seems clear.

'First, develop wind and solar energy and battery storage to replace coal- and gas-fired electricity. Then, replace petrol and diesel cars with electric vehicles running off carbon-free sources. Finally, replace traditionally made steel, cement and other industries with low-carbon alternatives.

'In this global context, the climate policies announced in Tuesday’s federal budget are a long-odds bet on a radically different approach. In place of the approaches adopted elsewhere, the Morrison government is betting heavily on alternatives that have failed previous tests, such as carbon capture and storage. And it’s blatantly ignoring internationally proven technology, such as electric vehicles.

'The government could have followed the lead of our international peers and backed Australia’s clean energy sector to create jobs and stimulate the post-pandemic economy. Instead, it’s sending the nation on a fool’s errand.'

Tracking the transition: the 'forgotten' emissions undoing the work of Australia's renewable energy boom

Hugh Saddler and Frank Jotzo write in The Conversation (11.6.21) that renewables are forming a greater share of the electricity mix, but point out that elsewhere in Australia's energy sector - in transport, industry and buildings - emissions reduction is very slow.

'World leaders including Prime Minister Scott Morrison will gather in the UK this weekend for the G7 summit. In a speech on Wednesday ahead of the meeting, Morrison said Australia recognises the need to reach net-zero emissions in order to tackle climate change, and expects to achieve the goal by 2050.

'So, has Australia started the journey towards deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions?

'In the electricity supply system, the answer is yes, as renewables form an ever-greater share of the electricity mix. But elsewhere in the energy sector - in transport, industry and buildings – there has been little or no progress.

'This situation needs to change. These other parts of the energy system contribute nearly 40% of all national greenhouse gas emissions - and the share is growing. In a new working paper out today, we propose a way to track the low-carbon transition across the energy sector and check progress over the last decade.'

 

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