Abbott’s unambitious carbon target won’t impress the lighting world

So Australia has set itself a target for reducing its carbon emissions: 26 per cent by 2030.

To be more precise, a reduction of 26-28 per cent, by 2030, based on a 2005 baseline.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls the target ‘responsible and achievable’. But Abbott’s attempt to balance ecological and economic pressures has given us a target below what climate scientists had hoped for, and way below the 40-60 per cent reduction (based on a 2000 baseline) that the Climate Change Authority wanted. It leaves Australia trailing other developed nations for reduction targets, despite being one of the heaviest polluters.

Particularly for those who work in the field of energy efficiency and have seen first-hand what can be achieved, it’s a disappointment. A step in the right direction, of course, but a disappointingly small one.

As Frank Jotzo puts it on Business Spectator: ‘Time and time again, the experience has been that emissions reductions come cheaper than expected. Many emissions savings technologies have developed more rapidly and became cheaper more quickly than expected – just think of solar panels and LED lights.’

Lighting industries in other parts of the world have benefitted from more robust energy efficiency policy, showing how the right carrots and sticks can boost markets for energy-saving lighting and speed up the shift to LED.

Abbott says the government will review its emissions reduction policies in 2017-18, but has ruled out carbon taxes or emissions trading schemes. That leaves us with efforts such as the Emissions Reduction Fund - and the recent news that lighting projects can apply for a slice of the fund's $2bn pot is very promising. But without stretching targets, it's hard to see much impetus behind further efforts like these.

Australia’s lighting professionals will be hoping that when world leaders gather in Paris later this year to try to reach an international agreement on carbon reductions, something more positive comes out of it.

Comments 6

Good Morning Frank, No I am not a scientist, I just liked physics, biology, chemistry and maths... at school many moons ago.! I have given you the links to those 2 websites only because they publish often serious and not so serious (Layman) articles and studies about the climate. I think it is beyond the scope of this brief exchanges to discuss, in detail, the state of disrepair of the "Climate Change" religion. I don't agree on your summary of the article, in my view is just an opinionated critique of Government policies. Energy efficiencies fair enough, the Journo wants to remind us of what the Government policy is , fair enough just don't start criticising something just because you don't understand it or because you want to be seen as a progressive.... haven't counted the words, but it appears that 80% of the article is just to criticize the Government. I read LUX R because I am in the industry, so the only thing I am Really interested in is ..Lighting, efficiencies, improvements, comparaison of different systems, applications and the like. Leave politics, or Religion, out of it. Frank, the only thing I hope this brief exchanges have achieved is to wake up an inquisitive mind, the climate discussion has reached the point that anybody that is not a believer is ostracized and called a "Denier" and worse.... this is not science, it's a religion. Regards

Dear Peter, thank you for lovely reply. So you quote a blogger Joanne Nova (admittedly with a microbiology science degree) and weatherman Anthony Watts as reliable sources, but sorry I'm actually skeptical of them (science vs opinion). Don't tell me you are a scientist too, just for the record I am not... I really think the Lux article's point is about the energy efficiency gains lighting can bring to the table for government, business and residents, after all isn't making better use a finite resource in the best interests of humanity. Even better sustainable non-finite resources can be used ad infinitum. I don't think this article is out of place as it is a serious discussion we need to have. The health and sustainability of all animals (humans are animals) on earth is directly linked to the environment this impacts 100% of people, believe it or not that includes the far right neo-cons just as much as the extreme left. Would it surprise you if it was true that renewable energy technologies can actually grow the economy, create jobs and prosperity for countries all around the world and not actually cost the "earth" and make the sky fall. I enjoy the trade of of thoughts with you, but please some science or evidence (not opinion) to back you point would be fantastic.

Dear Frank, thank you for posting that link, I have taken liberty to post 2 links, for your information, about NASA. I admit, without any problems, of being a skeptic by nature, I need to confirm whatever I am told, i.e :"a 10watt LED flood, lights up a palm tree at 100M" is a patently false statement, unless..... it can be demonstrated to be so. Again and again the warmist side has come out with nothing else but apocalyptic predictions that when, even superficially analyzed, dont stand up and the results cannot be reproduced! So far, the Climate panic mob, have come out with very, very narrow research, often with falsified data (Michael Mann "hockey stick... " John Cook 97% Consensus etc). As to preventing a “two degree” apocalypse, what we are really talking about is a half degree in the next ninety years with some theoretical further warming in the centuries after that. The 2 degrees of panic is measured from the bottom of the Little Ice Age, as if that was the ideal “pre industrial” climate that we somehow want to return to. If you really go looking beyond the headline "we are all going to fry", you will find a wealth of information, often with more in-depth research then the original one. I was dumbfounded when i first started reading the reviews and the responses to the "New Research" that seem to appear every day. There are a lot of retired scientist out there and they do spot furpees , mistakes and obfuscations. A good site to start with is Anyway, my objection still is that LUX R is a Lighting Industry paper and should not push the warmist or the skeptic side. Being neutral would have been a much better option. In my opinion, the piece above, should appear in a paper like "the Age" or the Guardian, not in an industry magazine.

Wow Peter, that is incredible! What do you define as a "major" temperature increase as opposed to a "minor" temperature increase? As you should know a 2 deg average increase is going to cause a lot of problems. One just has to think about what that would do to the volume of water in our oceans when it happens (IE water expands when it heats - think Kiribati)... By the way, can you tell me what shape the Earth is? Are you able to use any scientific facts to back you hypothesis? Check this out - (though you may need to verify the veracity of this data with Sir Pository).

Thank you for an interesting article. You are to be commended for the bold article. We can all contribute to lessening our "foot print" in some way. Regards Simone.

What a lot of Nonsense! looks like Lux R is on the warmist side or has found that the government tit should yield more milk! So far, wind and solar are NOT viable solutions without massive Government subsidy, despite the best effort of the high priest of Gaia, the climate refuses to warm up, the undeniable fact is that for the past 18+ years despite CO2 increasing there has not been any major or minor increase in temperatures. Up to today, all the predictions of doom and gloom have been, well, just wishful thinking from the like of that not so august body "The Climate Change Authority". Wasn't Flannery that "predicted" that Dams will never fill up again?? Nothing Wrong with saving energy and deploying new technologies, but don't use the fib of the so called Climate Change to pump more money (Mine and Yours) from the Government Coffers! The recent hysteria and flurry of "Scientific" Papers ahead of the Paris "Green Junket" has really tested the resources of real Scientist, all have been debunked and consigned to the dust bin because they are either fraudulent or totally misleading. Lying by omission is still an offence. Paris is only another excuse for the Peacocks of the new religion to shine their feathers. The whole thing is a lie.

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