We have been following the alarming rollback on environmental protections under Australia’s conservative Abbott, including the repeal on the carbon tax (the first of a major Western power). Tony Abbott has pledged to reverse environmental measures from the protections of the country’s famous reefs to opening up pristine areas for development. Now, just two months after the repeal of the tax on emissions, a study shows that (not surprisingly) carbon emissions and electricity demand in Australia have risen after a nearly six-year long trend of decline. This comes a week after the report of scientists who found an over 99% likelihood that humans are causing climate change.
The company releasing the report, Pitt & Sherry, tracks electricity use and emissions in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) and said that emissions are expected to continue to rise as a result of the rollback. In just two months, the increase was the equivalent to an annual increase of 0.8 percent.
The Abbott government has also pushed for more power generation black and brown coal power stations and there has been a drop in renewable energy use. The Abbott government has now commissioned a report recommending the effective repeal of the country’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), a scheme designed to ensure that 20 percent of its electricity would be generated from renewable sources by 2020. This will likely further the increase in non-renewable energy use.
The Abbott repeal removed the tax on carbon emissions for around 300 of the country’s biggest emitters to pay for their CO2 emissions.
Source: Scientific American