Australia's desire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, according to a Wood Mackenzie analyst on Monday.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Monday of the country's commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, in Scotland running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
Commenting on Australia's decision, Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific Head of Markets and Transitions, Prakash Sharma, said Australia, which has been late in committing to any climate goals, could achieve this goal but the pathway requires a complete transformation of its traditional energy and export sectors.
Australia would need to retool its commodity exports industry to align with the Paris climate targets, he said.
According to Sharma, the goal is within reach if Australia becomes a significant player in low-carbon hydrogen trade and in its ability to offer carbon storage and offset services.
Australia, known as one of the biggest polluters, has begun to pivot its energy sector towards renewables and has increased its power generation from solar and wind to nearly 83% this year compared to about 20% last year.
Natural gas, bioenergy, geothermal and a small modular reactor will supply the remaining 17% of power output. The phase-out of coal into power is expected by 2035.
The country’s major trading partners – China, Japan, and South Korea – are already in transition towards the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and in recent weeks other major energy exporters, like Russia and Saudi Arabia, also announced net zero goals by 2060.
By Gulsen Cagatay