Australia would prosper by slashing carbon pollution
AUSTRALIA can transition towards net-zero carbon pollution while maintaining similar rates of growth to the past five years if key actions are taken immediately, according to a new report.
The report - A Prosperous, Net-Zero Pollution Australia Starts Today - focuses on potential pathways to a carbon pollution-free economy in Australia for the period to 2030.
Energy costs can drop
Prepared by ClimateWorks Australia and commissioned by WWF-Australia, it argues household energy costs can drop and incomes rise if the nation takes strong steps now towards a carbon pollution-free economy.
"Our government has made a commitment to help keep global warming below two degrees, which is the right thing to do, not just for the world but also for our economy and way of life," said WWF-Australia chief executive Dermot O'Gorman.
"With strong action now, Australia can achieve this without a negative impact on our lifestyles. Indeed, an early transition could create a cleaner, modern and more sustainable future for Australia while maintaining increased economic prosperity."
50% reduction in carbon pollution
The report found Australia could achieve more than a 50% reduction in domestic carbon pollution on a 2005 baseline between now and 2030 - well beyond the draft emissions reduction target proposed by Australia of 26-28%.
Switching to more renewable energy would be key, achieving at least 50% renewable energy across the electricity sector by 2030.
The report found Australia could move away from a carbon-based economy while real GDP grew at 2.6% per annum to 2030 - similar rates of growth to the past five years.
Real wages increase
Real wages could increase by almost 13% by 2030 as the economy transitioned towards net-zero emissions by 2050, the report said.
ClimateWorks Australia chief executive Anna Skarbek said: "Our economy has a history of successful adaptation to global economic trends and there is every reason to believe that we can also adapt to a net carbon pollution-free economy."