In what has been called a historic moment, the global climate change conference in Paris has seen an agreement made to see fossil fuels replaced by renewable energy sources.
After a grueling two weeks, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was ended on the decision, which saw ministers jumping and shouting with joy.
“Our work here is done and now we can return home to implement this historic agreement. This is a pivotal moment,” Foreign minister Julie Bishop said at the conference.
“No country would see this as the perfect outcome. Certainly it does not include everything that we envisaged. However, this agreement does give us a strategy to work over coming years and decade to build the strong and effective action the world needs.”
Andrew Bray from the Australian Wind Alliance has welcomed the news, and said the agreement signals the end of the fossil fuel era.
“The Paris talks have sharpened the world’s attention on the opportunities from renewable energy,” Mr Bray said.
“They’ve demonstrated how cities and communities are going 100% renewable, and Australia can easily and affordably do the same.
“A range of technologies are available, businesses are ready to expand and communities are understandably keen to accelerate their uptake of renewable energy.”
The Australian Solar Council’s John Grimes says the economic potential of solar in the world’s sunniest country is huge.
“The Australian Government has shown promising signs that it’s changing tack on renewable energy but now must follow through on the talk,” Mr Grimes said.
“Removing legislation in the Parliament to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation would instantly boost confidence in the sector.
“Cutting the $4 billion dollars spent on fossil fuel subsidies will also allow renewable projects to compete with coal on an even footing.”
Queensland coal and gas perfect partners for future emissions reductions
The Queensland Resources Council has also welcomed the climate accord struck in Paris.
“The accord is in line with the work the resources sector has been doing with advanced technologies to reduce emissions from use of coal and gas in power generation,” chief exective Michael Roche said.
“Now that there seems to be steadfast commitment to implement High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) coal-fired power generation technologies, Queensland’s lower-emission high-energy coal reserves are well-placed, alongside our natural gas, to play an important role in the transition to a lower emissions world.
“We also welcome the endorsement in Paris from leading environmental NGOs that carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be an important part of the longer-term solution, alongside renewables and nuclear energy.
“The Paris talks and accord have revealed nothing that alters our view that there will be very strong demand from India and South East Asia for our high-energy coal. In fact, governments from those regions made it very clear in Paris that coal will play a critical role in their future power supply.”