The Climate Council today released their report titled “Lagging Behind – Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change”. (read the report below)
The report describes worldwide progress on climate action and describes Australia as moving from a renewables leader to a global laggard.
The report pointed to the uncertainty on the Target as the driving force behind Australia’s remarkable 70% drop in renewable energy investment from 2013.
The big movers in climate and carbon transformation are identified as the US and China, with China singled out the standout achiever.
China retired 77GW of coal power stations and plans for retiring another 20GW by 2020.
Meanwhile renewable power generation now exceeds fossil fuel generation, contributing almost 20% of total electricity.
Currently delivering a decline in ‘carbon intensity’ of 26%, China is on track for cuts of 45% by 2020.
Carbon intensity is a measure of carbon emissions for every dollar of GDP.
Elsewhere, 39 countries are putting a price on carbon with a further 26 in consideration.
The report proposes that global action must accelerate: “to prevent catastrophic rises in global temperature humanity must substantially curtail the use of coal and other fossil fuels.”
The report quotes Tony Abbott’s contradictory enthusiastic support for coal.
“Let’s have no demonisation of coal. Coal is good for humanity.”
In 2013-14 Australia generated 14.8% of electricity from renewable energy sources.
Solar installed capacity grew from 4.3MW in 2007 to 3.3GW in 2013 as Australians embraced self-generation and investors saw strong.
The report finds that Australia’s climate response is too low and out of step with our allies and trading partners.
“Any emission reductions achieved over the past few years in Australia’s electricity sector have effectively been cancelled out since the repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism.”
[blockquote border_color=”#EEEEEE” bg_color=”#FFFFFF”]We’ve had a loss of 70 per cent of new investment in renewable energy in this country, and when you compare that with the US and China, which are powering ahead – China particularly at record levels – it’s a pretty sorry state of affairs.
Tim Flannery, Climate Council[/blockquote]