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Australia could target a 100% carbon-free power supply by 2050 without massive costs or a braking in economic growth if effective policies are implemented.

According to a new report produced by the WWF in collaboration with the Australian National University, Australia is one of the best placed countries in the world for moving to a completely renewable electricity supply, and could source 100% of its power from renewable energies by 2050 without suffering significant costs or depressing economic growth; to this end, however, clear and stable national policy provisions supporting investments in the renewable sector will be fundamental.

The report highlights that lately it has become cheaper to cut carbon emissions, while the costs of fossil fuel technologies have remained static. Consequently, one of the major arguments used against decarbonisation during the last ten years – namely the high cost of a transition to renewables – is not persuasive anymore, as it has been proven that previous works have overestimated the costs associated with moving away from fossil fuels. As stated in the report, the costs would be further reduced if the government allowed the use of international permits.

At the moment, Australia doesn’t have post-2020 emissions reduction targets, and many countries – including China and the United States - are challenging the country’s policy towards emissions cuts and renewable energies. The current commitment is to cut emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020, but many doubt this target will be reached, also because the government decided to cut the existing Renewable Energy Target (RET), thus provoking an investment drought in the sector.

Australia is expected to establish its post-2020 emissions reduction goals and, according to the national manager of WWF Kellie Caught, it will be crucial for the country to set an ambitious long-term target and to take decisive action to achieve it.


The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

(Source: Guardian)