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Carbon and clean energy

24th Apr 2013

Australia's carbon emissions are increasingly coming under the microscope as The Climate Change Authority's (CCA) Caps and Targets Review continues, having recently called for submissions on the matter.

The Climate Institute has welcomed the CCA's initial paper with its initial thoughts on our nation's emissions targets and carbon budgets, including what level of caps should be set on the ever controversial carbon pricing mechanism.

A draft of the report is set for this October with final delivery in 2014.

"Australia’s carbon laws cap emissions from our largest emitters from 2015. This is an important opportunity to focus on emissions limits and not just emissions pricing," said Erwin Jackson, deputy chief executive officer of The Climate Institute.

At the moment Australia has a Renewable Energy Target of 20 per cent by 2020, from clean energy sources such as solar power and wind energy.

The Caps and Targets review however specifically focuses on carbon emissions, which need to be drastically cut globally if we are to avoid warming more than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

"Reducing emissions does not stop in 2020 and a crucial test of any political party’s policy is whether it can achieve up to a 25 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 and a 60 per cent reduction by 2030," said Mr Jackson.

The Climate Institute is pushing for stronger emissions reductions, and we all know that solar power plants and solar PV panels can play a key role in reducing emissions coming from the energy sector.

Governments need to take such targets and measures very seriously, as between now and 2050 if we are to avoid the world heating up too much, no more than 1,500 billion tonnes of carbon pollution can be released - and only eight billion of those in Australia.

We have the technology we need to make the changes for a low-carbon, clean energy economy. These technologies just need to be adopted on a greater level.

As it stands, the Climate Institute suggests that Australia's current emissions targets are not a fair contribution to global efforts in reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment.

While progress is of course being made, we need to integrate clean energy measures into our society in a quicker, more far-reaching way if we are to achieve the necessary targets to abate the effects of carbon pollution.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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