Oxfam Australia : 100% Renewables, No New Coal

Oxfam on coal and renewables in Australia

Oxfam has warned Australia is at risk of falling even further behind in the climate change battle, isolating it from its neighbours in the region.

Oxfam Australia Climate Change Adviser Dr. Simon Bradshaw, who is in Poland for the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, said emissions had been rising since the current Federal Government took office and the government had persistently refused to strengthen Australia’s emissions reduction target.

“Australia has failed to heed the insurmountable evidence of what is needed to limit global warming – no more new coal, a shift to 100 per cent renewable energy as soon as possible and achieving zero emissions well before mid century,” stated Dr. Bradshaw.

Emissions Continue To Rise

The latest Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory showed Australia’s emissions for the June quarter 2018 increased 1.3 per cent over the previous on a seasonally adjusted and weather normalised basis.

Australia greenhouse gas emissions historical graph

Emissions for the year to June 2018 increased 0.6 per cent or 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, mainly driven by LNG production for export. Trend emissions increased by 1.2 per cent, largely due to a 15 per cent jump in coal production after a downturn in the March 2018 quarter.

There was some good news, with electricity sector emissions continuing to fall – a decrease of 2.8 per cent since June 2017. The reduction was primarily a result of increased renewable generation (14 per cent) in the National Electricity Market replacing a drop (13 per cent) in brown coal-fired electricity generation.

However, the overall picture for Australia remains grim. While the Morrison Government states otherwise, a recent UN report says Australia is not on track to achieve its Paris agreement target of reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

Dr. Bradshaw states Oxfam has already seen first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific, including the loss of land and livelihoods to rising sea levels and the effects of increasingly destructive storms.

“The time is now for the Australian Government – it must listen to its neighbours, it must listen to the stark warnings of the world’s leading scientists, it must listen to the concerns of its own residents, to our school children protesting in the streets,” said Dr. Bradshaw.

Oxfam, which called for a ban on the Adani project last year, has previously stated the pursuit of coal will reinforce poverty as a result of climate change impacts, and increase deaths and disease caused by pollution.

Adani Protesters Take To The Streets

In related news, thousands of Australians marched in the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns on the weekend, protesting against Adani’s Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland. Among the protesters were school students, some of whom had taken part in the School Strike For Climate Action – an event that earned the criticism of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

School Strike For Climate Action organisers have further action planned, including another mass strike on 15th March 2019 in the lead-up to the federal election.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. How can one argue with science illiterates who peddle fake science from fake experts. Ask them for a link to substantiate their assertions and they run away. Hop over to the Murdoch Mafia and read the nonsense the RWNJs are spinning.

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