EU vote piles pressure on Australia energy targets
Australia is facing more pressure over its renewable energy stance, amidst calls following a landmark energy vote by the influential EU bloc.
The powerful EU grouping - one of Australia’s largest trading partners - today backed an agreement to call for a tripling of clean renewable energy by 2030 at this year’s global climate change talks in the United Arab Emirates in November. This target, which could create millions of jobs worldwide, has recently been backed by other influential countries and trading partners, including the G20 bloc and many African countries.
The increasing international backing for the higher target could see pressure mounting on Australia to raise their ambition or risk being sidelined at December’s headline-grabbing climate summit, COP28.
81% of Aussies support more or much more renewable energy, according to the respected Yale Climate Communications.
Minister Ralph Regenvanu from Vanuatu said:
“Ambitious renewable energy targets, like we've just seen agreed by the EU bloc, can help support the global transition away from coal, oil and gas we urgently need. In our own region, we are working toward creating a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific.
“We call on the EU to take the next step in supporting a just transition by joining us and a growing bloc of nation states in seeking the negotiation of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“We also call on the largest fossil fuel producer in our region, Australia, to respond to calls from the Pacific and now from Europe by ending the expansion of any new coal and gas projects, and setting strong, science-aligned dates for phasing out existing fossil fuel production.
“We hope to see all our neighbours support the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific at the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting next month."
Minister Ralph Regenvanu is Minister for Climate Change Adaptation, Energy, Environment, Meteorology, Geohazards and Disaster Management, and MP for Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Leila Aly El Deen, chief executive of the Secure Energy Project, said: “The increasing international backing for renewable energy, like we’ve just seen from the powerful EU bloc, is piling pressure on Australia, and highlighting the country’s slow progress on a transition to wind and solar projects.
“Many voices have been calling for Australia to up their renewable energy game. And now important Australian trading partners, like the EU and G20 are matching these calls with a commitment to tripling global renewable energy.
“Without a similar commitment, Australia risks being left on the sidelines at the upcoming high profile COP climate meeting, in full view of the world’s politicians and media.
“Across Australia and the Pacific, more wind and solar energy means reliable power, affordable bills, cleaner air, and jobs that are safe for the long term. And Australia could be a world leader, enjoying all the benefits that would bring.
“The smart money, across the world, is increasingly going on renewables. Australians cannot afford to be left behind.”
Today’s EU vote marks the moment that Europe joins the UAE, the G20 and a host of African nations who have committed to a global goal to at least triple renewable energy like wind and solar. Leaders of countries across Africa have pledged to go even further, and roll out five times more renewable energy capacity by 2030. The tripling goal could form part of the final negotiating text at climate conference COP28 in Dubai in December.
Europe’s commitment looks set to accelerate the global race for dominance of the renewables industry already underway between other continents.
Secure Energy Project
(Based in Aotearoa New Zealand | UTC/GMT +12hrs)