The Australian Problem: Energy and Emissions

Billy Burton

A ‘developed’, ‘western’ economy with abundant potential renewable energy resources is sure to be heading towards low-carbon energy policy, right?

Sadly, in Australia, this couldn’t be further from the case. Renewables make up just 14% of Australia’s energy mix, with Natural Gas contributing another 13%. This is where it gets ugly: the remaining 73% of the energy mFossilEconomyBZE-low-resix belongs to coal, the worst of all energy pollutants. Australia has an abundance of coal, and with a well-developed mining sector, it is very cheap energy. The recent controversial repeal of the Carbon Tax by the ruling Liberal Party has only further decreased the cost of coal energy, at the cost of the environment. The repeal has removed any incentive for coal energy firms to become cleaner, despite paying lip service to clean coal and carbon capture schemes. Cuts in renewable energy schemes have also had a devastating effect…

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