Australia can lead global clean tech action Media Release

Jul 08, 2009 - 11:59am

Australia should help lead international action to put low carbon technology financing and development at the heart of climate negotiations, alongside mitigation and adaption, according to research released by The Climate Institute ahead of today’s Major Economies Forum in L’Aquila Italy.

Breaking through on Technology, research by The Climate Institute and eight other leading international think tanks* in the Global Climate Network, recommends world leaders help unleash a global clean industrial revolution. The research interviewed over 100 experts from government, private sector firms and academic institutes in eight countries for their views on the barriers to development and transfer of low carbon technology.

“Technology transfer is also a key sticking point in global climate negotiations. By working with other countries on technology and backing it up with a strategy to unlock private and public sector financing, Australia can build trust between countries that will be crucial to achieving an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen,” John Connor, the CEO of The Climate Institute said.

“Not only will this bring about sustainable jobs and profits in clean industries to help address human needs and reduce poverty, it will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help break the current deadlock in UN climate talks.

“Leading on a global plan to ramp up investment and development of key technologies would also potentially open huge investment, manufacturing and export opportunities for new Australian industries and jobs.”

In this year’s Federal Budget the Prime Minister allocated billions towards fast tracking investments in building new industries and export opportunities in solar power and cleaning up fossil fuels. At the Major Economies Forum, and as part of a plan to build export markets for Australian technologies, Australia should agree to help lead the development of technology action plans to fast track the development and use of these breakthrough technologies.

“Australia could use this solid solar base as a stepping stone to driving an international plan that unleash global technologies, services, industry jobs and investment in Australia and overseas.”

To ensure domestic investments in clean technologies are not further stalled and industry growth stunted, other recommendations for Australia from the research include:

  • an emissions trading scheme and renewable energy target strengthened with dedicated post transition permit revenue and implemented without delay
  • a well coordinated national investment strategy for research and development to enable, at commercial scale, key technologies such as hot rocks, concentrated solar and carbon capture and storage.
  • Financial and leadership support for an International Technologies Initiative to assist research, development and deployment of breakthrough technologies in developed and developing countries, e.g by dedicating a proportion of post transition CPRS permit revenues.

*Breaking Through on Technology is a global study under the auspices of the Global Climate Network. It included research partners from eight other countries including China, the USA, the UK, India, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and Germany. These groups included the Centre for American Progress, headed by President Obama’s former transition chief, and the Research Centre for Sustainable Development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The Climate Institute Australian Perspectives report is also available.
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