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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Groups join to call for zero emissions

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Firefighters, doctors, farmers and aid groups are among 50 non-government organisations joining forces to demand politicians commit to zero carbon pollution by 2050.

The organisations on Tuesday published an open letter urging parliament to set the goal, saying it’s an opportunity to modernise the Australian economy and build a prosperous future.

The letter has been penned by representatives from the environmental, aid, legal, health, union, farming, social services and religious sectors.

‘A zero carbon pollution future is possible, and it is all of our responsibility to make that future a reality for our children, and their children,’ the letter states.

‘Australian people stand to lose so much from the impacts of climate change.’

The international community has agreed to try to limit global warming to two degrees.

It is hoped nations can reach a global agreement to cut carbon pollution, at the United Nations climate change conference later this year.

Australia is expected to announce its post-2020 emissions reduction target in July, and the government maintains the nation will meet or beat its five per cent goal by 2020.

The Greens want a 2025 target of 50 per cent, while the Climate Institute and Climate Change Authority want carbon emissions slashed by 45 per cent by that time.

The groups calling for zero emissions by 2050 include the Australian Council of Social Services, the Australian Firefighters Climate Alliance, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Environmental Farmers Network.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Why have targets based on 2010 emissions or 2000 emissions? Do these targets assume emissions before 2010 or 2000 are completely acceptable? Or do these emissions reductions targets such as a “ZERO emissions” have no baseline? What is ZERO in these targets? No emissions at all, even from unavoidable emissions derived from agriculture? Does Zero emissions mean a combustion engine working at 90% efficiency will be illegal?

    When it comes to targets, why not stick to simple targets – such as a percentage of the sources of energy? Tax on emissions is needed to reduce emissions – and fund reduction of energy wasted (such as occurs in long distance transmission), increased efficiency usage (requires measurable energy management) and renewable energy supply. Local Energy generation and storage helps with all three goals. The removal of the emissions tax has allowed brown coal burning to increase, its GHG pollution is the worst.

    Australia sources 15% of its energy from renewables in 2015. As much as 25% of Australia’s energy was expected to be sourced from renewables by 2020 with the help of the 2010 RET according to the 2014 report. This government has now (2015) reduced the RET funding allowance to avoid over shooting the target in 2020, citing reduced energy demand and unexpected increase of wind and rooftop solar. The over supply of energy would have closed down coal power stations much faster than first anticipated. But that is the purpose of the RET – to support renewable energy supply in its replacement of worst sources of emissions!

    This government reasons, if we reduce our energy demands, and reduce the expected energy supply from renewables, there is no need to close down dirty coal fired power stations, which are the biggest green house gas emitters. The RET needs to clearly state it’s purpose is to CLOSE down the biggest GHG emitters and it will do it through a new efficiencies and an over supply of clean energy.

    We need a 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050 RET to fund emissions reductions through efficiencies and for renewable energy supply as replacement of fossil fuel supply. My hope is a revised RET 2020 will source 25% of energy from renewables and in 2050 will source 85% from renewables, in other words, a complete reversal of the status quo in 2015.

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