Not-for-profit body ClimateWorks says stimulating Australia’s economy and reaching climate goals can share a single path way amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its new Decarbonisation Futures report, it sets out detailed evidence of how major sectors of the Australian economy can move to net zero emissions, in line with global goals of keeping warming below 1.5 or 2 degrees, by accelerating investment in technological solutions already available and invented. This work is being looked at as a way to rebuild Australia’s economy in a climate-friendly fashion in the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic.
It argues this period of transition will provide a chance to cut the carbon emissions generated by industry, agriculture, transport and households – across the entire economy.
CEO Anna Skarsbek said, “We spent 18 months examining each part of the Australian economy in detail,’ she explained, ‘to consider what would be involved in getting there. The resulting report, Decarbonisation Futures, is an update of similar work in 2014. It found net-zero emissions were possible not just by mid-century but by 2035 – soon enough for Australia to play its part in an effort to limit global heating to 1.5C.”
The report argues that fast-tracking the deployment of existing green technologies “can support efforts to rebuild from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Its recommendations include:
- Upgrading existing residential and commercial buildings to increase their energy efficiency
- Investing in large-scale renewables and storage while phasing out fossil fuels
- Supporting a circular economy with more recycling and local supply chains.
Amandine Denis-Ryan, head of the National team, stressed that emerging solutions could be found even for heavy industry, agriculture and the land.
Achieving the Paris goals would, she said, require national emissions being cut in half by 2030 at the latest. “We now know we have enough technological capacity in the Australian economy to get there. But we need to get these technologies out the door at every opportunity.”