Australia - Secure energy future revealed
Canberra, Monday June 16, 2008 Greenpeace today called on the Federal Government to commit Australia to produce 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The call comes following the release of a groundbreaking report, Energy [R]evolution Scenario: Australia, which shows that Australia’s energy sector can be transformed to achieve massive cuts in CO2 emissions.
The Energy [R]evolution Scenario: Australia uses modeling by Greenpeace and Dr Hugh Saddler from Canberra-based company Energy Strategies.
It shows that by 2030 Australia can be powered by renewable energy sources with solar, wind, geothermal and ocean power supplying more than half of Australia’s electricity needs. This, combined with using some gas as a transitional fuel, means that coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel – can be entirely phased out by 2030.
The Energy [R]evolution Scenario gives Australia its first practical blueprint which details how rolling out renewable energy and aggressive energy efficiency measures can give us a secure, sustainable energy future that protects us from rising fuel costs and creates tens of thousands of new jobs.
Greenpeace is calling on the Federal Government to adopt the Energy [R]evolution Scenario: Australia as part of its plan to combat climate change, Climate and Energy Campaigner and report co-author Julien Vincent said.
“The Australian public were promised action on climate change and that means Kevin Rudd must back renewable energy as a key solution,” Vincent said.
“There is no time to waste and no excuse not to act.
“Kevin Rudd must increase the mandatory renewable energy target to at least 40% by 2020, implement a robust emissions trading scheme and announce a moratorium on new coal-fired power stations.”
”It’s ridiculous that a country with enough renewable energy potential to power half of Asia bases its electricity supply on dirty fossil fuels.
“By continuing to burn fossil fuels, we’re not only choking the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, but we’re leaving ourselves vulnerable to the massively increasing costs of fossil fuel energy.
“Given the right policies, the renewable energy industry is ready to roll out projects that will eventually take us to a zero carbon economy.
“Unlike fossil fuels, the cost of harnessing the power of the wind and the sun will never go up.”
Emissions from energy make up about two-thirds of Australia’s total carbon footprint and are set to skyrocket if we don’t take further action.
Report co-author and Greenpeace Renewables Director Sven Teske said by focusing on transforming the energy sector, the Energy [R]evolution Scenario puts Australia on the road to cutting total emissions by more than 40% by 2020.
“We all want Australia to be powered by renewable energy, but for the first time, we can see it as a practical reality,” Teske said.
“This is not only achievable, it is vital if we want to cut greenhouse emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change.”
The report shows that we can cut greenhouse pollution in the energy and transport sectors alone by 37% by 2020.
But we must act now.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate on Climate Change lead author and ARC Federation Fellow, School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Professor David Karoly, said that we have far less time to minimise dangerous anthropogenic climate change than previously thought.
“We are in an extremely precarious and urgent situation that compels immediate action,” Professor Karoly said.
Gerry Grove-White, Managing Director of Geodynamics - the largest Australian Stock Exchange-listed company whose sole focus is on developing hot fractured rock geothermal energy – welcomed the report.
“Australia’s emissions reduction targets will not be met without significant policy changes and this report highlights what could be achieved with various initiatives," Mr Grove-White said.
For an interview with Sven Teske or Julien Vincent or for further information, please contact:
Ria Voorhaar, Communications Officer: 0400 376 021
Julien Vincent, Climate and Energy Campaigner: 0419 179 529
Sven Teske, Director, Greenpeace Renewables Campaign: 0409 993 568
The Energy [R]evolution Scenario can be downloaded by visiting: www.greenpeace.org.au