Australia has shown its support for a commitment made at the Cop28 climate summit to increase the annual pace of energy efficiency gains by a factor of two and triple the worldwide capacity for renewable energy by the year 2030.
Chris Bowen, the minister for climate change, stated that the administration of Albanese had joined 117 other countries in making the pledge, which was a reiteration of an agreement that was struck by the G20 countries in September.
The agreement on renewable energy was one of a number of headline pronouncements that were made when more than one hundred world leaders arrived in the United Arab Emirates for the first few days of the summit that will last for two weeks.
The ministers will aim to reach a consensual position on how to lift action to confront the climate issue in the face of escalating geopolitical tensions during the last week of the event, which will take place in Dubai. Bowen is not scheduled to fly to Dubai until later this week, and Anthony Albanese will not be present. A representative from Australia, Kristin Tilley, who is the country’s ambassador for climate change, was present at the opening plenary.
In his statement, Bowen stated that Australia had joined other major energy exporters such as the United States of America, Canada, and Norway in supporting the push for energy efficiency and renewable energy use.
According to a statement that he issued, “We are aware that renewable energy sources are the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective form of energy, and that energy efficiency can also assist in reducing both bills and emissions.” A significant worldwide push is required if we are to see a reduction in emissions all around the world. Australia possesses the resources and the intelligence to assist in the provision of clean energy technologies to the rest of the globe, which will help to reduce emissions while also stimulating new industries in Australia.
Climate change activists and analysts expressed their satisfaction with the vow to use renewable energy. Tim Buckley, director of Clean Energy Finance, an independent research tank, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Australia has shown its support for the proposed commitment. His statement was that the switch to renewable energy sources had become “an entirely economically sensible and viable commitment” as a result of dropping costs.
This aim will collectively bend the climate trajectory towards what the science clearly prescribes, which is something that would have been considered next to impossible two years ago. However, China has revolutionized the world’s capability to deliver on decarbonization, and this target will be achieved. He stated that the global manufacturing capacity for solar modules, batteries, and electric vehicles is doubling every two years, and China is the driving force behind this trend. This is causing costs to drop substantially.
“The moment has come for the entire world, including Australia, to break their habit of using fossil fuels. It is impossible for [Australia] to continue to approve, mine, and ship coal and gas if it wishes to honor its climate pledges and contribute to maintaining the temperature at the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The director of the advocacy organization Solutions for Climate Australia, Barry Traill, stated that the support for doubling renewable energy was a “bright spot” during a meeting that was “tainted by the influence of the fossil fuel industry.” The individual expressed his expectation that Bowen would “use his flight to Dubai to gear up to fight in the negotiation rooms” in order to guarantee that the pledges about energy efficiency and renewable energy sources would be included in the final agreement reached at Cop28.
“We also hope and expect that the Australian government will build on this major commitment by supporting the other two fundamental parallel commitments required globally to fix climate change,” he said. “These commitments include explicit commitments to phase out the primary cause of climate change, which is the mining and burning of oil, gas, and coal, as well as stronger climate finance arrangements to support poorer countries and their energy transition to clean, inexpensive renewable power.”
During an appearance on the media Australian politics podcast on Saturday, Bowen stated that he was in favor of bolstering mitigation measures all around the world. However, he did not provide any specifics regarding whether or not Australia would specifically fight for wording to phase out fossil fuels or phase out unabated fossil fuel.
The statement made by Bowen was as follows: “We will be in there arguing for a very sensible strengthening [of language].” “Even if we will be in that fine company, we will not be able to predict what kind of alliance would develop on the international stage. In contrast to prior [Cops], when Australia was in extremely bad company and impeding attempts, I will be there fighting for a sensible solution in order to reach consensus across the board.
While the United States of America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Ukraine, Israel, and Norway are all participating in the negotiations, Australia is serving as the head of the “umbrella group” of countries. When asked about his intentions, Bowen stated that he intended “to be quite an active chair,” which meant “bringing other countries with us” in order to assist in reaching a consensus.
“It is not just about mitigation – to tell you the truth, that is my number one goal – but there is also money for loss and damage, there is the global stocktake of national promises, there is global financial action, and there are adaptation pledges. In his words, “This is a very busy agenda for the police.”
An first copy of the document that was released by the Cop on Saturday featured a variety of terminology that are up for discussion. One of these statements expressed the idea that either coal or fossil fuels should be “phased out” or “phased down.” It was the same with regard to subsidies for fossil fuels. Previous attempts to reach a consensus that all fossil fuels should be phased out have been met with resistance from Saudi Arabia, China, and India.
Additionally, Australia was one of the more than one hundred countries that supported declarations that pledged to improve climate action in the areas of healthcare and agriculture. The United States of America, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom are among the 22 countries that have committed to achieving a threefold increase in nuclear energy capacity by the year 2050.
However, it is not obvious whether a decision will be taken in Dubai, despite the fact that the Albanese government is aiming to garner support for Australia to host Cop31 in 2026 with Pacific countries. There is a more serious choice that needs to be made regarding the location of the annual summit that will take place in the following year. It was supposed to take place in eastern Europe, but Russia has prevented an agreement from being reached over which nation will preside over the event.