In August 2015, Australia submitted its proposed nationally ambitious contribution to the UNFCCC, which included a goal to reduce carbon emission by 26 to 28% (on 2005 basis) by 2030 and a renewable energy target of 23.5% by 2020. The foundation of Australia’s federal climate change strategy, the “Direct Action” reverse-auction scheme tackled in previous editions of The Climate Report, has maintained the leadership challenge in September 2015 that saw Malcolm Turnbull take over from Tony Abbott as Australia’s Prime Minister and leader of the ruling party.
However, there has been a tremendous amendment in the federal government’s strategy regarding renewable energy investment. A direction from the Abbott government to the CEFC not to invest in wind or solar energy has also been silently declined.
There have also been some primary progress at a territorial stage. In September 2015, South Australia announced that it would expand its renewable energy target to 50% by 2025, having attain its prior goal of 33% by 2020. Queensland has promised to generate 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, whereas the two largest states, New South Wales and Victoria, have both set a 20% target each by 2020. The Australian Capital Territory, is also aiming at generating 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2025, with wind farms, solar farms, and rooftop solar intended to reach 60% of its energy needs by 2017.
Various Australia’s main capital cities have also embraced ambitious targets. Adelaide and Melbourne are in the race to become the world’s first carbon-neutral cities by 2020, while Sydney is aiming at reducing carbon emission by 70% (on 2006 bases) by 2030.