Government of Australia. Climate Commission / by Tim Flannery, Roger Beale and Gerry Hueston
[Crikey] A new report from the Climate Commission paints a more optimistic scenario of global momentum toward renewable energy while suggesting a mix of carbon abatement methods and voluntary action might become the de facto path toward worldwide emissions reduction.
The report, released this morning by Chief Commissioner Professor Tim Flannery, suggests Australia’s bipartisan 5% reduction target by 2020 places it neither behind nor ahead of other countries in terms of targets, despite our status as the world’s highest per capita carbon emitter. Countries responsible for 90% of the global economy have committed in some form to limit greenhouse gas emission, including 33 with a national or sub-national carbon price; by next year about 12% of the world’s population will live in states with a carbon price, including around 250 million urban Chinese.
The report also describes a surge in global investment in renewable energy, which has grown six-fold to US$257 billion since 2004. That’s led by Germany, which is already a renewables powerhouse and a major technology exporter through a combination of regulation and the EU’s emissions trading scheme, and China, which is on track to become the largest renewables energy market in the world by 2014…