Through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), over the 17 days leading up to the Australia’s national election we will be highlighting the challenge for an inclusive and sustainable Australia, what can be done to address the challenge and what BCSD Australia, as part of a global WBCSD network is doing to create impact.
On Day 7, we are looking at SDG7: Affordable and clean energy
Australians, and their national economy, depend on the supply of energy. Yet Australia's electricity supply is more polluting, less reliable, and more expensive than many comparable countries. It remains highly dependent on fossil fuels, CO2 emissions from fuel combustion / electricity output (MtCO2/TWh) is increasing and renewable energy makes up just 9.2% of the total final energy consumption.
Access to electricity is near universal in Australia, but the residential price of electricity has more than doubled in the past decade. This means Australians now pay higher electricity prices than most other OECD countries. Energy affordability has become a major problem facing many Australians, particularly those on lower incomes.
Australia needs a focused agenda around future energy priorities to create greater momentum for a longer-term transition:
Energy and climate change policy needs to be a core priority for the federal government.
Greater federal intervention in Australian’s energy market, including improvements to its governance.
The take-up of renewable energy needs to be hastened, as the Renewable Energy Target and state–based actions are now driving substantial investment in renewable electricity generation and renewables are likely to account for 23% of electricity generated by 2020.
Australians need a guarantee that future energy supply remains affordable and reliable during the transition to a low-carbon economy, including addressing how low-income Australians, who often live in poorly insulated and energy-inefficient houses, can access solar panels and other high-cost home upgrades that help reduce energy bills, such as energy-efficient water heaters and appliances.
What is BCSD Australia doing to create impact to address this challenge?
We are working with a number of partner organisations on projects that will help to address this challenge here in Australia and around the world, including: