Things are heating up. With 2019, Australia experienced its hottest and driest year ever recorded—and for the world, the second warmest year on record. Things aren’t looking much better for 2020. Time and time again heat records are being broken. This is climate change. Fortunately, there are also some ‘hot’ solutions available so we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourites (in no particular order). We’ve broken them down in some further detail below.
No New Coal and Gas
The burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – creates greenhouse gas emissions. This is driving climate change. To act on climate change we must urgently and rapidly decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is the third-largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world. If you include Australia’s fossil fuel exports, we’d be the 5th biggest emitter in the world. Read more.
Many industries and technologies still run on combustion (e.g. cars with combustion engines). Electrifying all of our energy needs that we can would mean we don’t need to use combustion fuels that emit greenhouse gases. Read more.
Moving to 100% renewables is key to addressing climate change. Renewable energy sources – like solar, wind and hydroelectricity – don’t emit the greenhouse gases that are driving climate change. Renewable energy is clean, reliable and affordable. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), found there were “no fundamental limits to 100% renewables.” So what are we waiting for! Read more.
Energy efficiency refers to how well something uses energy, i.e. how much ‘work’ that unit of energy can provide. Australian houses and building are notoriously energy inefficient which drives up our bills and our emissions. By improving energy efficiency we can get more bang for our buck and use less energy to do the same job. Read more here and here.
Get smart about managing energy demand
You might have heard about something called the ‘electricity grid’. This is the network that delivers electricity from producers to consumers. The problem is that many of our grids are old, inefficient and outdated. Smarter, more nimble grids would allow us to manage energy demand better and accommodate the critical transition to renewable energy. Read more.
Travelling uses energy and that energy has to come from somewhere! Transport is now Australia’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution after electricity. By making smart travel choices where you can (like using public transport, walking, cycling or carpooling) you can reduce the amount of energy you use to get around. Read more.
Everyone has different dietary and cultural needs and we recognise that a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone. But even incorporating just a bit more plant-based foods and less meat into your diet can have an impact, as meat consumption is responsible for quite a bit of greenhouse gas emissions. For example, if the greenhouse gases emitted from livestock were their own nation, they would be the world’s third-largest emitter! Read more.
Export Australian wind and sun
As the sunniest continent, and one of the windiest, Australia has the chance to be a world leader in renewables. It would be a huge economic opportunity, a major new export industry for Australia, and create new jobs. In fact, a report from the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub said that with the right policies, Australia could produce double the amount of energy it needs by 2050, even after electrifying (basically) everything. Read more here and here.
Responsible land management
Climate change poses a big threat to the land and how we use it. But the latest report from The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows how smarter and more responsible land management practices can help address climate change. This involves things like smarter farming, halting deforestation and looking after our coastal ecosystems. Read more.
Contact your local, state and federal representatives
As you’ve just read, we’ve got the solutions we need to address climate change. But in many areas, the political will is missing. Contacting your local, state and federal representatives about the importance of climate action is one of the best climate solutions out there! And we’ve got a handy guide to how to do it here.