Australia, India and South Africa Fall Short in new report on Energy Policy

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The research team for the report was supervised by Energy Centre Board member, Dr Niall Mac Dowell, a lecturer in Energy and Environmental Technology at Imperial College, who said:

“The Paris agreement represents an important step in tacking climate change, but this must now be matched with sustained action commensurate with achieving the ambitious 1.5oC target. Many governments are taking positive steps, but the current commitments by some nations will be insufficient to meet climate goals. Serious consideration must be given to the policy measures that will be required to achieve these demanding emissions targets; and implementation must follow quickly.”

Renée van Diemen said: “One of the countries I profiled in the report was Australia, and some of the findings were eye-opening. The Australian government's justification for their repeal of a carbon pricing mechanism was to ensure international competitiveness on the energy market. However, it has hindered progress in reducing electricity sector emissions. The power sector is one of the biggest contributors to energy-related emissions not just in Australia, but globally. We must make meaningful structural changes here to have any hope of limiting average global temperature rises."

Also in attendance was the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Economic Affairs Officer, David Elzinga. He said: “Energy security for individual nations will often trump global policy, and that is where we need to strike a balance. Energy is currently taken for granted and the market needs to move to a service-based provision for people.”

Clara Heuberger, a PhD student at Imperial College, who also contributed to the report, agreed saying: “Decarbonising one sector, such as transport or power will be a tough problem to tackle. We need to integrate the energy system so that all sectors feed into one another – this will make decarbonisation much more straight-forward.”