2 December 2014
The majority of Australians want more renewable energy and know it is the pathway to a sustainable future. Currently Australia is committed to producing 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 - the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Because Australians have reduced the amount of energy they are using it is likely that the RET will exceed its target with renewable contributing 27% of Australia's energy needs by 2020.
Most would see this as a good thing, but not the government or the fossil fuel industry which is campaigning to reduce the RET and thereby increase its profits by an estimated $11 billion dollars by 2030 according to the Climate Institute. Consumers who would face increased electricity bills and and investors in renewable energy projects would be the losers.
The announcement of a US-China agreement to cut pollution and the determination of world leaders to place climate change on the agenda of the recent G20 meeting - despite the efforts of the Australian government, has given new momentum to the push for action to address climate change. Nevertheless there is still much that remains to be done with the Australian government still expressing support for the continued use of fossil fuels while the rest of the world moves towards towards a clean energy future. The RET remains under attack and billions of tax dollars continue to be handed out as subsidies for pollution every year.
Visit the website of the Australian Climate Council (the privately funded body established to continue the work of the Australian Climate Commission which was abolished by the current Australian government) or the Australian Conservation Foundation for more information about how to take action on this issue.