A low carbon economy: the smart way forward

by Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action Would you board an airplane if you knew it had a 90 per cent chance of crashing? This is the situation we face with climate change. The world's leading scientists are more than 90 per cent certain that most of the global warming seen since the 1950s comes from man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. Climate change is happening, and it reinforces a whole range of other global economic and social problems. We have a duty, both moral and economic, to avoid wrecking the planet. It is right that Australia, with the highest level of greenhouse gas emissions per head in the developed world, should undertake its fair share of the global effort to reduce emissions. What is more, I believe the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future plan is an important step in the right direction. This is not only because Australia is especially vulnerable to more severe and frequent extreme weather. It is also because the transition to a low-carbon global economy presents a huge opportunity to modernise our economies, stimulate growth and create jobs by building dynamic new industries based on innovative clean technologies and clean energy. An opportunity to join Europe and others such as China - which has already become the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels – in building up the global market for low-carbon energy and energy-efficient technologies. This market is set to double, or even triple to 2.2 trillion dollars, between 2010 and the end of this decade. No major trading nation can afford to miss out on their slice of this expanding cake. The Clean Energy Future plan provides a smart combination of investments and reforms to build this low carbon economy. Pricing carbon is the most economically efficient way to address emissions because it allows them to be cut at least cost. And it drives innovation and investment by creating a permanent incentive to reduce emissions ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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