Posts Tagged ‘post-carbon pathway’
Learning from leading international post carbon economy researchers and policy makers
1. The probability and risks of global warming of four degrees or more are rapidly increasing. This is, however, an argument for visionary leadership and decisive action – not political paralysis and buck-passing.
2. The technological and economic roadmaps showing the actions we need to take to avoid catastrophic global warming are now widely understood. From Germany to California and from the United Kingdom to China the global momentum for implementation of large scale de-carbonisation strategies is rapidly accelerating.
3. The biggest roadblocks preventing implementation of large-scale de-carbonisation strategies at the speed required to prevent runaway climate change are primarily political not technological. The key roadblocks are:
- Climate science denial
- The power of the fossil fuel industry and its allies
- Political paralysis
- Unsustainable consumption of energy and resources
- Path dependencies and outdated infrastructure
- Financial and governance constraints
4. The key actions needed to overcome these political roadblocks are:
- Clear understanding of the necessity and possibility of an emergency speed transition to a just and resilient post-carbon future
- Broad recognition of the potentially enormous social and economic benefits of switching investment from fossil fuels to energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon sequestration
- Game changing social and technological innovation
- Decisive leadership and skilful implementation by communities, business and government at every level of society
>> Go to the PostCarbon Pathways site to read more, download the Report, or download the Interview Transcripts
Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on November 28th, 2012
|3 December , 2012|
|6:30 pm||to||8:00 pm|
Post Carbon Pathways: Learning from the most innovative and promising post carbon economy transition plans and strategies
Professor John Wiseman is Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) at The University of Melbourne.
Professor Wiseman has recently returned to Australia following a period of travel meeting with and interviewing a wide range of leading researchers, policy makers and activists working on post carbon economy transition plans and strategies. This work is part of the broader Post Carbon Pathways project being undertaken with MSSI Research Fellow Taegen Edwards and Dr Kate Luckins. Professor Wiseman will share the key outcomes and learnings from this work.
The Post Carbon Pathways project aims to show that transformational changes required to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on broad recognition that alternative, more desirable futures and pathways are indeed possible. Post Carbon Pathways project aims to strengthen understanding of the actions needed to create rapid, large-scale transitions to a just and sustainable post carbon future.
Time: 6:30- 8pm Monday 3 December 2012
Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton
Click Here for LIVE streaming of this event in HD720 video.
From What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation policies by John Wiseman and Taegen Edwards
Around the world an increasing number of detailed policy road maps are demonstrating the possibility, necessity and urgency of a rapid transition to a just and sustainable post carbon future. The key barriers to this transition are social and political, not technological and financial.
The Post Carbon Pathways report, published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Policy Development has reviewed 18 of the most comprehensive and rigorous post carbon economy transition strategies. As Australia enters the next phase of the climate change policy debate, this report will provide vital information on how other jurisdictions are designing and implementing large-scale plans to remove carbon from their economies. The review focuses on transition road maps produced by governments with the strongest emissions reduction targets, such as Germany, Denmark and the UK. It also looks at the most comprehensive and influential non-government authored strategies such as Zero Carbon Britain, Zero Carbon Australia and World in Transition (German Advisory Council on Global Change). Our analysis of these diverse ways of reaching a post-carbon future highlights several key lessons.
The window is closing fast
A wide range of detailed national and global level strategies demonstrate the technological and economic feasibility of rapidly moving to a post carbon economy. This goal can still be achieved at the scale and speed required to significantly reduce the risk of runaway climate change. But the gateway for effective action is rapidly closing. Decisive action in the next five to ten years will be critical. There is a crucial difference between transition strategies that advocate a pragmatic and evolutionary approach and those that advocate more rapid and transformational change. […]
Technology is not the most significant barrier
Analysis of these strategies shows that technological barriers are not the most significant obstacles to a fair and swift transition to a post carbon economy. The integrated suite of technological and systemic changes needed to reach a just and sustainable post carbon future will clearly need to include:
- rapid reductions in energy consumption and improvements in energy efficiency
- rapid replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy
- significant investment in forests and sustainable agriculture to draw down and sequester carbon into sustainable carbon sinks.
We already have the technologies to achieve emission reductions at the required speed and scale. Soaring investment in technological innovation, particularly in the United States, China and Germany, is driving down the price of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at a remarkable speed.
Financial and economic barriers: significant but not insurmountable
The economic and social costs of failing to take action to reduce emissions are becoming increasingly clear – as are the multiple employment, health and environmental co-benefits of a swift transition to a post carbon economy. Most strategies advocate a mix of market based and regulatory mechanisms, underpinned by clear long-term emissions reduction targets. Some authors however remain cautious of relying too much on carbon pricing. They recommend additional, more direct interventions such as:
- binding renewable energy targets
- feed-in tariffs
- eliminating fossil fuel subsidies
- allocating the funds to close fossil fuel power stations.
Strategies with emissions reduction targets that are more strongly informed by climate science also commonly advocate a significant shift towards economic priorities which focus on improving social and ecological wellbeing rather than unconstrained growth in material consumption. […]
There is no solution to climate change without climate justice
Intergenerational justice – the need to respect and protect the livelihoods and opportunities of future generations – remains the most powerful ethical justification for taking prudent and decisive climate change action now. There is also widespread recognition that political support for a rapid transition to a post carbon economy depends on implementing policies to overcome key social equity challenges – within and beyond national borders.
The key barriers are social and political
The biggest barriers preventing a rapid transition to a post carbon future are social and political – not technological and financial. The difficulty of securing and sustaining broad social and political support is widely recognised as the greatest barrier to a swift transition to a post carbon economy. The most significant gap in post carbon economy transition strategies is a lack of detailed game plans for mobilising political leadership and public support. Worryingly, even the most optimistic of the social change theories underpinning these strategies, tend to rely on a variety of ‘Pearl Harbor’ scenarios in which one or more catastrophic ecological events would provide the necessary wake up call. […] The development and communication of inspiring stories and compelling images of a just and sustainable post carbon future will be particularly crucial.
Australia’s post carbon pathway leadership challenge
The Australian Government’s 2020 emissions reduction target (a 5% decrease on 2000 levels) is clearly still far from the level required for Australia to make a responsible and fair contribution to global emissions reductions. Australia’s 2050 target (an 80% decrease on 2000 levels) is more robust. But there is no detail as yet as to how this target will be achieved. Evidence from the most promising transition strategies elsewhere suggests we need a more informed and thoughtful debate about the kind of economic growth and industry mix that Australia should aim for. We need to talk about the fairest approaches to mobilising the required levels of financial, human and social capital. Most importantly, a far more visionary level of political leadership will be required in order to drive an Australian climate change debate informed primarily by climate science rather than short-term calculations of political and economic feasibility. […]
Read the article in full on The Conversation.
Read the Post Carbon Pathways briefing paper, summary report or full report.
Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 10th, 2011
|15 June , 2011|
|7:30 pm||to||9:00 pm|
Arena Discussion Forum
Fractures and transformations: political reflection and action in a shifting world
Wednesday 15 June, 7.30 pm
Climate change, catastrophe and transformation – The necessity and possibility of a post carbon future
- John Wiseman, Melbourne Sustainable Society institute, University of Melbourne
- Fiona Armstrong, Convenor, Climate Change and Health Alliance
Many of us share a growing awareness that we are on the threshold of social, ecological and political transformations as encompassing as the scientific and institutional shifts of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. The escalating risks of climate change, peak oil, nuclear technology and economic meltdown are only some of the most obvious consequences of a world dominated by neo-liberal institutions and underpinned by a dangerously seductive faith in the capacity of technological innovation to drive boundless economic growth and consumerism. In this public forum John Wiseman and Fiona Armstrong will lead a discussion about the importance of a rapid transition to a just and sustainable post carbon society and economy – at the speed and scale needed to prevent runaway climate change.
When: Wednesday 15 June, commencing 7.30 pm
Where: Arena Project Space, 2 Kerr St Fitzroy (b/n Brunswick & Nicholson Sts)
Further information: 9416 0232 or www.arena.org.au
All welcome: gold coin donation at door
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