A switch in time: enabling the electricity sector's transition to net zero emissions

Australia, along with the rest of the world, must decarbonise its energy sector by 2050 to have any hope of averting dangerous climate change, and the Climate Institute has released research to help get there. The report, A Switch in Time: Enabling the electricity sector’s transition to net zero emissions, finds that a $40 carbon tax could meet the government’s 2030 target of a 26-28 per cent emissions cut based on 2005 levels. However, it would not lead to coal being replaced with clean energy. Consequently, this would lead to more extreme actions needed from 2030, such as more than 80 per cent of coal plants needing to be shut within five years, which would have disruptive economic effects. What is needed, the report says, is a policy that will lead to an orderly phase out of high-carbon energy to low-carbon sources, and for clean energy investment to be de-risked.