Ignoring green growth | The Jackal

2 Dec 2011

Ignoring green growth

Here's the OECD Green Growth Studies preliminary report (PDF):

“We must avoid 'lock-in' of CO2 emissions by ensuring the latest clean technologies are used,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. “If we do not manage to slow current rates of emissions growth, we will hit the ceiling by 2017, meaning that to keep the global increase in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius, all new infrastructure will have to be zero-emission.”

Well there's not much chance of countries being able to implement a zero-emission regime... so the goal must be to meet carbon emission reductions. Even a 1º increase is going to hugely change the Earths biodiversity with increased likelihood of animal extinction and crop failure.

The joint OECD-IEA report finds that the transition to a low-carbon energy system is likely to have a positive impact on employment in the energy sector because renewables tend to be more labour-intensive than fossil fuel-based energy. Increased deployment of solar photovoltaic  would yield the largest number of jobs, with strong growth also expected in the energy efficiency, geothermal and solar thermal sectors. 
Transforming the energy sector presents substantial opportunities for innovation and economic growth, which governments can catalyze by creating the enabling policy framework.

So there are economic advantages to implementing a renewable sector over and above the obvious environmental benefits. All it takes is a government with the willpower to set out some very achievable goals.

The key policies identified in the report include:
  • Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies
  • Putting a price on emissions and other environmental liabilities
  • Making sure energy market rules and regulations encourage use of new technologies
  • Radically improving energy efficiency
  • Fostering innovation and green technology policy

Looks like the National party is set to fail all of those recommendations.