Betond Zero Emissions has published a new report: "Laggard to Leader – How Australia Can Lead the World to Zero Carbon Prosperity".

The report identifies six policy deficiencies which are preventing Australia from playing its part in reducing carbon emissions:

  • Arbitrary, unambitious targets;
  • Overreliance on offsets, overseas credits and "green carbon" (relying on forrests and soil to remove carbon from the atmosphere);
  • Relying on the dubious benefits of switching to "transition gas";
  • Insufficient support for the deployment of renewables;
  • Hoping against reason for carbon capture and storage; and
  • Pursuing aggressive fossil fuel promotion policies.

It says that to achieve a world leadership possition, Australia should:

  • Publicly commit to a moratorium on new fossil fuel developments within Australia;
  • Implement a federal moratorium on the development of new coal, oil and gas deposits within Australia;
  • Convene a high-level panel of independent experts to publish a report making the case for a global moratorium and phasedown of fossil fuels, within a timeline consistent with a global carbon budget for warming of 2˚C or less; and
  • Convene a summit of world leaders to discuss options to decarbonise the global energy system through the widespread deployment of renewable energy and the phase-out of fossil fuels.

The Report points out that coal mining employs only 0.3% of the Australian workforce and that 80% of the profits from mining go overseas – and that those profits which remain in Australia end up concentrated in very few hands.

The Zero Carbon Australia Project's next undertaking will be a detailed plan to show how Australian fossil fuel income can be replaced by zero carbon industries. The “Renewable Energy Superpower” plan will provide more detailed analysis of how an Australian renewable energy product and service export strategy, and a phase-out of fossil fuel industries, can best be orchestrated.