Australia’s low carbon policy to drive future prosperity: The Climate Institute

19 March 2012

Leading Australian renewable energy company, Pacific Hydro is optimistic about the nation’s future clean energy and low carbon opportunities, despite findings in The Climate Institute’s Global Leadership Review 2012, which rank Australia 16th among 20 OECD nations on current carbon competitiveness.

The Global Leadership Review, supported by Pacific Hydro, makes clear that with a carbon price, renewable energy target and other national policies, Australia has the right settings to ensure that it moves up the rankings and capitalises on opportunities in clean energy locally, regionally and globally.

“As highlighted in the report, there are major opportunities for clean energy developers in Australia and globally,” said Pacific Hydro General Manager, Australia, Mr Lane Crockett.

“Pacific Hydro’s investments in South America have expanded at a faster rate than Australia over the past few years, underscoring the global leadership being taken in countries like Chile and Brazil,”

“The passage of the Clean Energy Future legislation is a step in the right direction, and will see Australia benefit from greater investment and diversification in clean energy projects and improvements in energy efficiency across the nation to reduce emissions and improve our carbon–competiveness,” said Mr Crockett.

The report noted that countries which are best prepared for the low-carbon economy are those who have recognised the inextricable link between economic growth, resource security and climate change policies and have taken appropriate steps to address this.

Australia is now among more than 100 nations that have climate policies targeting pollution limits and clean energy.

“The report also highlights that Australia has much to gain from pursuing strong domestic action while pushing for strong global action on climate change. There are clear opportunities to leverage from working with our neighbours to develop regional emissions trading alliances including with leading South American nations,” explained Mr Crockett.

“As the developed country most at risk from climate change, we need to prioritise the building of a regional emissions trading coalition to strengthen ties with our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region who are working towards reducing emissions domestically and globally,” said Mr Crockett.

“With the global low carbon investment market set to double or treble to around $2.2 trillion by 2020, Australia cannot afford to ignore these findings. We are extremely vulnerable to climate change and need to act strategically to ensure that Australia is not left behind in the race towards a zero-carbon global economy,” said Mr Crockett.