Australia’s Climate Change Authority (CCA) has just released “Reducing Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Targets and Progress Review – Final Report”.
In the document, the CCA acknowledges the positive impact of renewables; stating between 2001 and 2012, the Renewable Energy Target reduced emissions by an estimated 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
“The RET drives investment in renewable energy,” states the report. ” It creates a guaranteed market for renewables using a tradable certificate scheme that encourages projects at large scale (for example, wind farms) and small scale (for example, solar PV on household rooftops).”
The CCA says further efforts are necessary to achieve absolute reductions in emissions. It notes that in 2012, Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions totalled 600 Mt CO2-e, 2.5 per cent above 2000 levels.
” In the absence of a carbon price or other effective policies, emissions are projected to grow to 685 Mt CO2-e in 2020, 17 per cent above 2000 levels.”
In terms of recommended actions; among them:
“The Authority has identified low- to medium-cost emissions reduction opportunities across all sectors of the economy, such as: … using less emissions-intensive energy sources such as renewables, particularly for electricity generation.”
The CCA was established as an independent statutory agency to provide advice to government and parliament.
Australian Solar Council CEO, John Grimes, says it is clear that the Renewable Energy Target is crucial.
“The truth is Australia cannot meet its 5% emissions reduction target without the Renewable Energy Target,” he says.
“Vested interests calling for the Renewable Energy Target to be axed live in a world of delay, denial and entitlement where climate change is not an issue. People living in the real world understand the science of climate change and the need for strong investment in renewable energy.”
The Climate Change Authority’s Final Report can be downloaded here.