UNSW expert: Significant renewable investment needed to meet GHG reductions targets

smoke pours from chimneys into the sky (carbon capture)

A more substantial investment in renewable energies is needed if Australia hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with climate science, says a UNSW expert.

Australia has reported a reduction in gas emissions due to COVID-19 restrictions, recording the lowest level since 1998. National emissions in the June quarter2020 were estimated to be eight per cent – or approximately 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – lower than a year earlier.

However, Professor Jeremy Moss, an expert in climate justice and political philosophy from UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, says more needs to be done to reduce GHG emissions.

“Australia’s domestic emissions fell less than one per cent in 2019 while the emissions from our exported fossil fuels rose 4.4 per cent. COVID-19 will only slightly alter that trend unless more is done,” he said.

The Australian Industry Group has urged the federal government to spend $3.3 billion on renewable energy in the next decade in a pre-budget submission. It says the cost of “climate-related impacts and risks” is set to hit the country hard, even in the best-case scenario.

But Prof. Moss believes that this amount falls shy of the necessary investment required.

“Australia will need to spend far more than $3.3 billion in the next decade to achieve reasonable greenhouse gas reductions targets,” he says.

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