The whole world is waking up and transitioning. There may still be an element of climate denial or lack of climate action by some governments, but one that is at the forefront of climate thinking and acting is that of Denmark’s PM. Mette Frederiksen suggested at the UN climate summit in New York in September that the current generation of world leaders will be judged in future on how they reacted to the global climate crisis.
Denmark has promised to lead the way with a huge commitment to reach a 70% reduction in CO2 by 2030, one of the most ambitious targets in the world, and one which will challenge the government to identify the necessary tools and measures in order to meet it. The EU’s current target is 40% by 2030. But what about Australia’s commitment to its 2016 Paris Agreement target?
Climate reluctance: Australia’s inadequacy
In 2016, Australia promised to reduce its emissions by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. Instead, since 2015, our CO2 emissions have been going up year on year. The Climate Council states categorically that Australia is not on track to meet its target; a target it sees as ‘woefully inadequate’, that is, it falls significantly short of what is required to effectively tackle climate change.
In fact, the Climate Change Authority (2015) recommended a 45-65% emissions reduction target for 2030 (below 2005 levels), based on scientific evidence, and what comparable countries are doing, and what is in the best interests of Australia.
But hold on, we’ve found some light (solar, of course!) at the end of the dark climate crisis tunnel…
Australia’s faith in RE
It seems that Oz has renewables faith to save it, because according to recent articles, one target that Australia has been able to meet, and well ahead of schedule, is its renewable energy target. This is confirmed by the Clean Energy Regulator. Renewable energy capacity in Australia is growing at a per capita rate ten times faster than the world average. The next fastest country is Germany. What is so promising about this is it demonstrates how rapidly a country “with a fossil fuel dominated electricity system can transition towards low-carbon, renewable power generation.”
If you’re interested to learn more, we found an interesting podcast interview with the CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Darren Miller, who says, “We are in an incredible transition from an old centralised model using fossil fuels to new renewable energy future, which will be largely distributed, democratised and consumer-focused.”