The latest renewable energy news from The Guardian
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Scott Morrison’s government is counting on businesses and households to reduce emissions almost entirely as a result of their own voluntary initiative

The Morrison government has now confirmed that it will target net zero emissions for Australia by 2050.

But, unlike Europe, the US and China, the Morrison government believes we’ll manage to reduce emissions to zero without implementing any legislation that either requires businesses to reduce their emissions or that of their products; or provides funding to pay these businesses to reduce their emissions at mass scale.

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Posted: October 27, 2021, 1:05 am

It’s the phrase that will be on every world leader’s lips at the Cop26 summit – and it summarises the ambitious plan that will be central to efforts to limit the ravages of the climate crisis. So what is net zero? What kind of world could it create? And what needs to happen to to make it a reality?

As the days count down to the Cop26 summit, the phrase ‘net zero’ is coming up increasingly often. Scientists, activists, environmentalists and politicians use it as shorthand for the necessary steps to stop adding to the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The UK set out its net zero strategy last week, and called it a “global green industrial revolution”, even as others said it fell short of what is needed. Many see an international adoption of a target to get to net zero by 2050 – and hitting interim milestones on the way to that final goal – as crucial to our hopes of limiting global temperature rises, and hence the most devastating impacts of climate change.

And yet as recently as 2015, the agreement set out after the Cop summit in Paris made no reference to net zero. So how did a consensus emerge that net zero by 2050 was the most effective way of bringing global heating under control? What will it take to bring it about, and are existing plans set out by the UK and others enough to do it? What would a world where we have achieved net zero look like? And just how important are the Glasgow talks in bringing it about?

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Posted: October 25, 2021, 2:00 am

Net zero strategy should have defined what green jobs are so that progress can be measured, says committee

The government has come under fire from the environmental audit committee of MPs for its “inconsistent” policy on green jobs. The committee said that despite pledging millions of pounds to green jobs initiatives, ministers are yet to define what a “green job” is.

“The workforce of the future is being undermined by a lack of evidence-based government policies on how jobs will be filled in green sectors,” said Philip Dunne, the committee chairman. “Encouraging announcements of investment in green sectors of the economy are very welcome but the government admits that claims about green jobs lack explanation and data on how the targets will be achieved.”

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Posted: October 24, 2021, 11:01 pm

Those born in the small NSW town of Nundle are generally in favour of a new windfarm, while many tree changers object

In the small town of Nundle, a story of rural change is playing out. The picturesque little New England town of 289 people, nestled in the Great Dividing Range, has traditionally relied on farming and increasingly tourism to keep it ticking over.

The Hills of Gold Wind Farm has reversed the usual expected lines of division. A section of those born and working in the district are generally in favour of the green energy project and the income it may bring, while tree changers or retirees are opposed.

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Posted: October 23, 2021, 7:00 pm

I’ve worked in oil for decades, and seen what happens when jobs dry up with no plan B. Now industry leaders must face reality too

Moving to a green energy system and a zero-emissions society without leaving people behind is an enormous challenge. Many oil and gas workers are actually ready for the change, but the oil and gas industry itself is slowing the process, holding back real progress.

Having worked in the oil industry in Aberdeen and abroad for decades, what I have seen feels like the industry applying all of its power to self-preservation, in the face of the immutable truths that fossil fuels will one day run out and that we must keep what of them remains in the ground.

Erik Dalhuijsen is a consultant petroleum and sustainability engineer and a climate change activist living in Aberdeen

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Posted: October 23, 2021, 8:00 am