Noted energy expert Tony Wood of The Grattan Institute Australia said that Australia needs to change the narrative around climate change. He also said that the country would struggle to meet its own emission reduction levels that were promised in Paris last year as reported by ABC.
Australia committed to reduce CO2 emissions to 26-28% of the levels they were at in 2005. Wood described the climate change discourse in Australia as toxic and that many people in government did not even believe anything should be done to solve it.
He also stated that the public and government discourse had evolved into a renewables and fossil fuels debate when what it should be about was emission reduction and employing whatever methods suitable in reducing CO2. He also stated that people need to assess what are the most efficient, most affordable ways to achieve emissions reduction.
Wood also suggested some other ways of reducing emissions could include modifications or retrofitting to fossil fuel power stations and carbon capture and storage. He also said that renewables will surely be part of the new energy mix and there are things that people can do. The federal and state government should specifically support renewables when reducing emissions.
This focus on renewable energy has been raised before by experts such as Professor Richard Heinberg, who also believes the present focus on renewable energy is skewed towards electricity generation and not on actual energy output. The professor also said that electricity is only 20% of the global energy requirements. The other 80% is used directly in industrial and civil processes and technology breakthrough is needed in order to replace the massive global infrastructure that supports them.