The rapid progress and plummeting cost of green technology provide an unprecedented opportunity for Australia to move to a net zero emissions economy by 2050. ClimateWorks’ seminal report shows how.

Read the full report
Read the media release
Read the media coverage
Download the briefing slide pack
Read the technical report
Watch the briefing room webinar

Australia has entered the transformational decade for addressing climate change. Despite the extraordinary disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, the need to act on climate change remains. Indeed, the pandemic underscores the necessity to prepare for the predicted disruption of a warming climate. This unprecedented health and economic shock also shows that businesses, individuals and all levels of government are willing to support each other and work together in response to a crisis.

Decarbonisation Futures shows that the transition to address climate change requires “all-in” action by governments, businesses and ordinary Australians. Yet the measures identified in this report would not be anything like the economic shock we’re experiencing at the moment from the pandemic.

The report sets out detailed evidence of how major sectors of the Australian economy can move to net zero emissions, in line with global goals of keeping warming below 1.5 or 2 degrees, by accelerating investment in technological solutions already available and invented.

Critically, these actions can support efforts to rebuild Australia’s economy.

The stimulus to recover from the pandemic will need exactly the sort of actions that are needed to address the climate crisis, too.

Anna Skarbek, ClimateWorks CEO

The report sets out detailed evidence of how major sectors of the Australian economy can move to net zero emissions, in line with global goals of keeping warming below 1.5 or 2 degrees, by accelerating investment in technological solutions already available and invented.

On the other side of the pandemic, the stimulus that will be needed to revive the economy provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for decarbonisation to meet Australia’s international commitments. A planned response to climate mitigation could generate jobs in sustainable industries and set Australia up for a smoother and speedier transition to a zero-emissions economy. 

This report builds on ClimateWorks’ 2014 report, Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation, developed with ANU and CSIRO,  which modelled 2 degrees scenarios. This new report models scenarios limiting global temperature rise for both 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees.

To date the paths to decarbonising each sector of the economy have not been widely understood. This report shows the ways it can be done.

Amandine Denis-Ryan, Head of National Programs

The good news is that global progress in the past five years has closed the technological gap, making zero emissions possible in all sectors. As a result, Australia still has an opportunity to forge a path to net zero in keeping with the Paris Climate Agreement goal.

For example, in the transport sector, mature solutions include public transport and options such as walking and cycling, as well as renewable powered electric cars, buses and trucks. These solutions are able to be rolled out today. In other areas of transport such as air and shipping, emerging solutions could include biofuels, renewable hydrogen or electrification. These solutions need further research and development investment.

Decarbonisation Futures shows Australia can immediately accelerate deployment of mature and demonstration zero-emissions solutions, like renewable energy and electric vehicles, in sectors such as electricity, transport and buildings. At the same time, Australia can invest in the rapid development and commercialisation of zero-emissions emerging solutions in harder-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry, agriculture and land.

This transition can happen with strong action by governments, businesses and individuals. By setting targets immediately, decision-makers can support technology development, demonstration and deployment and capitalise on opportunities for investment.

Zero emissions pathways now exist in all sectors of the economy. Australia can install the technologies at enough scale if there is strong action by government, businesses and individuals, starting from today.

Amandine Denis-Ryan

Read the full report
Read the media release
Read the media coverage
Download the briefing slide pack
Read the technical report
Watch the briefing room webinar

ClimateWorks has provided leading advice, evidence and action for pathways to decarbonisation for a decade. Now is the time to scale. Support our mission towards net zero emissions by making a donation.