Human-caused global warming is already irreversible on the timescale of people alive today and will worsen in decades to come (NASA).
The world must change its approach to energy, recognise the limits to endless growth, and find a sustainable balance with nature. We must electrify energy and fundamentally change our lifestyle.
What must be done
- Commit to reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030
- Develop and publish pathways for rapidly decarbonising this decade, not wait until 2050.
- Plan the transition away from fossil fuels, targeting the biggest emission footprints – electricity, stationary energy (incl. homes and offices), transport and agriculture.
- Electrify everything – or as much as possible! (heating, cooking, cars, industrial processes).
- Provide transport alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles, regional rail and non-car transport links in cities.
- Support Australia’s clean energy manufacturing supply chains ensuring appropriate protections and equitable participation for Indigenous owners
- Take a key role in planning and regulating new renewable infrastructure so it is timely, orderly and evidence-based.
- Extend the Renewable Energy Target beyond 2030 and fund the 10,000km of high voltage transmission lines required to deliver renewable energy.
- Price carbon at $30/tonne, increased in line with trading partners.
- Stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry and stop authorising new coal and gas mines.
- Ensure the burdens and benefits for people, the economy, and the environment are transparent, properly considered, and fairly shared.
- Make Australia self-sufficient in renewables and a leading renewables exporter.
A federal government plan is essential to reach net-zero by 2050. Action must be decisive and the trajectory clearly defined for the next 10 years. Australia still ranks an appalling 55th in the Climate Change Performance Index – below USA and China.
Current government projections are for a 32% reduction in emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels.
Targets put up by the government’s own Climate Change Authority in 2015 were to reduce emissions by 45-65%. The report Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050 shows it is achievable if government drives the transition.