Australia’s Labor Party Backs Renewable Energy

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) released a comprehensive Blueprint on climate change that includes a target for reductions in greenhouse emissions by 2050, increases the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to meet future demand for electricity, commits Australia to a national emissions trading scheme, and provides businesses with investment certainty for the future.

According to Ric Brazzale, Executive Director of the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BSCE), projections show that even accounting for current Government programs greenhouse emissions from stationary energy will be 63% higher than 2000 levels in just 25 years. “Australia can curb its greenhouse gas emissions immediately by using existing, proven technology that is already in operation in Australia and around the world,” said Brazzale. “If parts of Europe can produce up to 80% of the power from gas and renewable sources, just imagine what Australia can achieve with its abundance of sunshine, wide open spaces and natural resources,” he said. Nature abounds in energy, and many parts of the world are now producing affordable, reliable power from sources that includes solar, wind, wave, geothermal and bioenergy. In other parts of the world, for example, the economies of Europe, Japan, Canada and increasingly parts of Asia, are constraining their emissions. Australia can engage with these economies and access the lucrative carbon market it needs to prepare for similar restraints using free-market policies that provide incentives for companies to invest in the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. “The ALP’s Blueprint also acknowledges that the Kyoto Protocol isn’t about politics — it’s about preparing Australia for a carbon-constrained economy,” explained Brazzale, “and providing Australian industry with a business case for investing in low-emission technologies using free market principles.” The Australian clean energy industry, which praised the Blueprint, also welcomed the ALP’s setting of clear objectives to roll out energy efficiency and solar technologies to schools, new and existing homes and industry through a mix of public sector support, taxation incentives and working with energy utilities to reduce consumption. The clean energy industry in Australia accounts for $5.7 billion in annual sales, including more than $400 million in exports and employment of more than 20,000 people.

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