While the controlled demolition of Hazelwood contributed more symbolism than carbon emissions reduction as the plant has been closed for more than 2 years, it's demise is perfectly timed for reframing the cost of reducing Australian emissions - to the cost of not reducing emissions - and rebuilding accordingly, post COVID.
If you have the attention span of a gnat (like me) and read no further than these opening sentences, just know that right now, it's more important than ever to support the causes and cases you can, to ensure post COVID investment goes to a greener nation build. As Christiana Figueres pointed out this week - between $15 and 20 trillion in capital is being injected into the global markets over the next 18 months. That gives us 18 months to truly influence our climate trajectory.
As an Australian citizen, it's more important than ever to support the causes and businesses investing time, money and lobbying to make sure we create a greener future and road maps are emerging, especially in energy and conservation.
Australian Conservation Foundation's Recover, rebuild, renew roadmap focuses on tackling the root causes of human and planetary crises, repairing the profound consequences and making our communities more resilient in a 20 point plan.
Mapped out are plans to set frameworks and create jobs that are good for nature and our climate; restore health and resilience of communities, forests, rivers, parks and wetlands; and take action to make Australia a renewable energy superpower.
Grattan Institute assessed the potential of three sectors that could help make Australia a green energy ‘superpower’: aviation fuel, ammonia, and steel. Their analysis concluded that green steel represents the best opportunity for exports and job creation in key regions.
Grattan points out that the future of Australia’s carbon-intensive industries, particularly coal mining, will be determined primarily in Beijing and New Delhi, not in Canberra. Grattan argue that we need a plan to capture the economic opportunities Australia might have in a decarbonised world because it's coming, ready or not. New clean energy industries can plausibly create new jobs at a scale comparable to existing carbon-intensive industries and that the regions that host carbon-intensive industries today are well placed to host these new jobs.
Hats off to Renew Economy Newsletter which arrived just in time. Energy, as we all know, is a big part of our enormous per capita emissions and any reduction roadmap and it is easy to get caught up in the federal government's apparent unwillingness to support a green emergent economy.
Their 25 May edition their jam packed edition covered green energy projects in every state of the nation and with that gave a clear reminder that there is a massive amount of infrastructure building and planning going into building a green future.
Massive 1200MW Forest Wind farm put on fast-track by Queensland government | Sun Cable plans Darwin big battery, precursor to world’s biggest solar and storage project | Big spinning machines arrive in South Australia to hasten demise of gas generation | NSW calls for wind, solar, storage ideas for first renewable zone in central west | Tilt considers three Victoria big battery projects as part of DIY firming strategy | AGL says it’s been thinking about ways your electric car can make you money
Submissions are due before June 21 to Australia's Technology Investment Roadmap if you are a contender to participate.
Nature Climate Change summary of pandemic shutdown emissions over the past few months gave us all a clear indication of what a reduced emissions world could be.
DAILY GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS DECREASED BY 17% BY EARLY APRIL 2020 COMPARED WITH THE MEAN 2019 LEVELS, JUST UNDER HALF FROM CHANGES IN SURFACE TRANSPORT. AT THEIR PEAK, EMISSIONS IN INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES DECREASED BY 26% ON AVERAGE.
THE IMPACT ON 2020 ANNUAL EMISSIONS DEPENDS ON THE DURATION OF THE CONFINEMENT, WITH A LOW ESTIMATE OF –4% IF PREPANDEMIC CONDITIONS RETURN BY MID-JUNE, AND A HIGH ESTIMATE OF –7% IF SOME RESTRICTIONS REMAIN WORLDWIDE UNTIL THE END OF 2020.*
According to Renew Economy, prior to its closure, the Hazelwood power station had been responsible for around one-seventh of Victoria’s total greenhouse gas emissions alone, amounting to around 3 per cent of Australia’s total emissions. Hazelwood had consistently been ranked as one of the world’s most emissions intensive power stations, producing around 1.6 tonnes of CO2-e per megawatt-hour of electricity generation.
The Australian Conservation Foundation sums up what so many of us understand. For decades we’ve pitted economic growth against protecting nature and preventing pollution. But, if, as we emerge from this pandemic, we continue to destroy nature and pollute our climate, we will lock in harm to ourselves. We must now act decisively, innovatively, and together, to get the future right.
*Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0797-x