Australia pledges to triple renewables capacity at COP28

Flag waving against blue sky with COP28 logo (fossil)
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Australia has pledged to triple its renewable energy capacity by 2030 at the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, mirroring a pledge made in September by members of the G20.

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“We know that renewables are the cleanest and cheapest form of energy—and that energy efficiency can also help drive down bills and emissions,” Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen said in a statement.

Major energy exporting countries such as the United States, Canada and Norway had also committed to the plan, while China and India did not.

“Australia has the resources and the smarts to help supply the world with clean energy technologies to drive down those emissions while spurring new Australian industry,” Bowen said.

The renewable energy pledge was welcomed by Tim Buckley, director of the independent think tank Clean Energy Finance, who said falling costs had made the transition to renewables “an entirely economically sensible and viable commitment”.

“Two years ago this would have been seen as next to impossible, but with China having transformed the world’s capability to deliver on decarbonisation this goal will collectively bend the climate trajectory towards what the science clearly dictates. Propelled by China, the doubling of global solar module, battery and electric vehicle manufacturing capacity every two years is driving costs down dramatically,” he said.

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“It is now time for the world and Australia to kick the fossil fuel habit. [Australia] can’t continue to approve, dig and ship coal and gas if it is to honour its climate commitments and help keep warming to the critical 1.5°C threshold.”

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