Alan Kohler is one of Australia’s most experienced business commentators. Alan has been a trusted source of investment advice to Australians for many years, and in 2005 he founded Eureka Report - Australia’s #1 online investment report. Along with Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz, Alan also founded Business Spectator, the popular business news and commentary website. Alan is the regular finance presenter on the ABC News and producer of the popular nightly graph (or two).
China has reconfirmed its target to peak emissions by 2030 and endeavour to do it sooner, but has also provided a more concrete target to cut the carbon emission intensity of GDP by 60% to 65%. But they may be able to do far better.
In the world of clean energy this past week - Canada's Alberta will be doubling its carbon price to $30/tonne, renewables to grab two thirds of new power investment globally, a Republican Senator praised Obama for acting on climate change and things looking up for renewables in Australia.
With carbon pricing on the agenda at Paris, it's worth considering whether cap-and-trade or taxation is the best way to go. For most countries it will be the former - but there are likely to be exceptions.
Energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport would bring Australia’s emissions back to 2005 levels by 2030. Then switching to renewables in the electricity sector, and powering more sectors with that green energy, plus some land use changes and a switch to biofuel and gas in some areas, would finish the job.
$450m has been committed to construction of the Ararat Wind Farm, breaking a two-year investment drought with a bang. But it's not yet clear that passage of the new RET means other investors will flock in, although they probably should.
The revised Renewable Energy Target bill looks set to pass, potentially as early as tonight, in spite of disagreement over native forest wood-waste, and strong opposition from Coalition and crossbench senators, who even suggested it is ‘helping our enemies destroy a great nation’.