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Australia Lacks Capacity to Meet Carbon Reduction Targets

18, January 2009

Chair of the Australian Environment Foundation, Dr Jennifer Marohasy, has cautiously welcomed a report from the Australian Academy of Technical Sciences and Engineering detailing possible scenarios for meeting the federal government’s CO2 emission scenarios.

“The report supports our contention that an emissions trading scheme without a significant investment in new technology will have little or no effect on CO2 emissions.”

“The Academy’s scenarios exclude nuclear, at least in the short term, and suggest an unrealistic mix of current renewable energies including, for example, an increase of over 1200 percent in wind power generation.

“The Academy concludes there will also need to be energy efficiency savings to push down energy demand growth.”

“Without a new low emissions technology and/or nuclear energy the only way the current targets can be met would be to force Australian jobs overseas. That would be the net effect of forcing a reduction in energy demand and increasing the cost of energy.”

“The bottom-line is that Australia is in no position right now to pursue ambitious carbon reduction targets because we have neither the available technology, or in the case of nuclear, the fortitude, to replace our current dependence on coal.”

Dr Marohasy said the report shows the impracticality of the Rudd government’s CO2 reduction targets, which would see a potential 35 percent, cut in energy consumption, per capita, over the next 11 years – accepting official population growth projections.

Background report by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), December 2008, Energy Technology for Climate Change: Accelerating the Technology Response.

- ENDS -
Media Contact:
Dr Jennifer Marohasy 0418 873 222
Max Rheese 0428 621 320 info@aefweb.info

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