New research finds that Australia is installing renewable energy faster than any other country, a trend that will allow the country to meet its economy-wide Paris climate targets five years ahead of schedule.
Research from the Australian National University suggests that Australia is on track to meet its carbon emissions target under the Paris climate accord well before 2030, thanks to increasing growth in wind and solar power, but does warn that politics could derail the trend.
Per capita, the country is installing renewable energy faster than China, Japan, the United States, and the European Union.
“The electricity sector is on track to deliver Australia’s entire Paris emissions reduction targets five years early, in 2025, without the need for any creative accounting,” lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers says.
This new report comes only a few months after NDEVR Environmental data suggested that Australia will miss targets by 1bn tonnes of carbon dioxide under the current trajectory. While emissions have been rising across the economy since the Abbott government repealed the carbon price after winning government in 2013, they have been falling in the electricity sector because of the closure of ageing coal plants and the rapid uptake of renewables.
With several big wind and solar farms opening over the past year and rapidly growing installation of rooftop solar panels, Australia is adopting renewable energy faster per capita than the rest of the world, the study said.
“Australia is on track to reach 50% renewable electricity in 2024 and 100% by 2032,” Blakers says. “The Australian renewable energy experience offers real hope for rapid global emissions reductions to preserve a living planet.”
To meet Australia’s Paris Climate accord commitment to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, emissions would have to fall to between 430 million and 442 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, Reuters reports.
As of the end of 2017, emissions had risen to 553.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, according to data from Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.