Hume Citizens Climate Lobby's (CCL) recent meeting with speaker Richie Merzian highlighted the importance of moving towards firm zero-emission targets and renewable energy.
Mr Merzian is the inaugural director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australian Institute. He has held several advisory positions to the government and was the Australian Government representative to the UN Climate Change Conference. He is also a co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).
With the US, Britain, the EU and China all moving towards firm zero-emission targets and renewable energy, Mr Merzian outlined the position Australia will be in if the country doesn't take action. He outlined the actions will create jobs, clean air and security in the future.
"Firstly, use wind, solar and pumped hydro to generate all the electricity we need. Already WA is installing a 26GW wind, solar and hydrogen plant (largest in the world); NSW is building solar and wind farms with battery storage in several locations in the state to feed into the grid, and Tasmania has the goal of generating over 200 per cent of their power needs so they can pipe the excess to Victoria," he said.
"In the process, jobs are being created in these regional centres, and electric prices from renewables is becoming the cheapest. It is a win-win situation for everyone."
He further said that the second step is the need to make more electricity from renewables now. The excess will be used to move to all-electric transport.
"Give incentives to people to buy EVs and to convert all home heating, water heating and cooking to electricity. The renewable energy excess can also make green hydrogen for the industry. More jobs, clean air, and we don't become the dumping ground for defunct petrol vehicles into the future, and our heavy industry can continue with green hydrogen power," Mr Merzian added.
He emphasised that it's possible to have a thriving economy built on renewable energy now. "We have the technology, and businesses and corporations are already moving to clean energy investments," he said.
CCL's next month speaker is journalist Gabby Chan who is also the author of 'Rusted Off'. With her country background, she speaks with experience about farming, land management and the environment in the regions. The meeting will be held on June 3 at Goulburn Workers' Club. Entry is free.
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