It’s Time To Power Up Australia: Climate Council

Climate Council - Power Up Australia

The Climate Council has published a set of ten energy “game-changers” to tackle both the climate crisis and cost-of living challenges in Australia.

The Power Up: 10 Climate Gamechangers report provides a roadmap for the Federal Government to accelerate climate action this decade and to ensure Australia blasts past the 43% emissions reduction target passed in Parliament last week.

“As a wealthy country with extraordinary renewable resources, Australia should aim to reduce its emissions by 75 per cent this decade, and reach net zero emissions shortly after. Power Up can help us get there,” states the Climate Council.

The 10 “game-changers”, grouped in 5 sectors, are:

Transform The Energy System

The energy sector accounts for around 33% of Australia’s overall emissions.

  • Plug in 100 per cent renewables.
  • Boost batteries for rock-solid renewable supply.
  • Up-skill Australians for clean trades.
  • Plan ahead for coal closures so no-one is left behind.

Clean Up Our Act On Transport

Transport is responsible for approximately 19% of emissions in Australia.

Net Zero Buildings

Buildings account for 20% of emissions – however, this also includes electricity emissions included in the energy system figures.

  • Make new buildings net zero, and electrify established ones..

Industrial Decarbonisation

Mining, manufacturing and construction. Responsible for 34% of emissions, but close to half if electricity use is included.

  • Ensure major polluters do their fair share.

Reassess Finance To Set Us Up For Net Zero Success

  • End public funding and finance for coal, gas and oil.
  • Develop a comprehensive climate and energy investment plan by 2024.

The Council says many of the policy recommendations made in the report can be implemented in this term of government using available technologies. There is some hydrogen-huffing in the report, but it’s fairly low-key. None of the above recommendations are earth-shattering or new. It’s just time to give it all a really red-hot go in a well-coordinated way.

“Getting cracking on expanding renewable energy and electrifying our homes and transport will also save Aussies money on their rapidly rising bills, while creating tens of thousands of new jobs for our regions,” said Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie.

Recent electricity price rises (and those likely to come) are and will continue to hit households and business hard. But the report claims:

“By accelerating investment in renewable energy, backed by storage and transmission, household disposable incomes across the national energy grid would be almost seven per cent higher by 2030.”

In terms of solar power specifically, the organisation notes that under the “Strong Electrification” scenario modeled by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the National Electricity Market (NEM) would need approximately 40 gigawatts of new wind capacity and 40 gigawatts of new utility and rooftop solar to reach “almost” 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

“The Labor Government says its current climate policy is a floor, and not a ceiling,” says Ms. McKenzie. “Well, the Climate Council’s plan provides the tools they’ll need to build the entire house.”

The full Power Up: 10 Climate Gamechangers report can be viewed here, a summary here, and the organisation has also launched a related website here.

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.

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