The transformative power of science suggests it should play a fundamental role in developing public policy, ensuring science informs debates about issues such as sustainable energy production, ecosystem protection, and genetic modification of food. However, using scientific knowledge to inform policy debate is not straightforward.
A significant, urgent and sustained reduction in emissions is required to reach greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. A target of 50% reduction relative to 2005 levels by 2030 for Australia would be consistent with the required rate of emissions reductions to meet the Paris Agreement targets of limiting global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
How do we transition to a zero carbon energy market? Simon Holmes à Court believes we have much to learn from other countries with more advanced thinking in this space – they have spent the past decade thinking not about whether they should transition, but how. The 2017 Finkel Review created a blueprint to move Australia away from its high-emissions market by ramping up renewables and energy storage uptake. Are we on track?