One-fifth of the country’s electricity will come from clean sources by 2020 – double the current proportion. But it’s little solace after last week’s rejection of carbon emission caps.
The renewable energy target agreed by all parties now matches the EU’s targets, set two years ago. But, if the Australian Senate had not voted out the government’s carbon-curb bill, renewables targets may not even have been necessary.
The governmnent-proposed bill would have taxed the country’s industrial emissions – mainly from cheap coal – and cut national carbon belching by 25% by 2020. I reckon it would have led to major investment in solar to match hydro-production.
Instead, the government has promised to safeguard investments in coal mining, while at the same time ensuring that as electricity consumption rises, so will emissions. (This article sheds light on some of the thinking being thunked!).
Craziness. Especially from what may turn out to be the worst-hit of the rich countries by climate change. This is a country that can well afford to react proactively to the threats of climate change – the other countries I have visited in the past 8 months are not so lucky. For shame.