Australia needs to rapidly reduce its carbon emissions, particularly in the electricity sector where it there are the cheapest opportunities to reduce emissions. This means no new coal-fired power stations and accelerate policies to reduce emissions across all sectors. Annual reductions of 3 to 4 per cent are needed until 2025. Then when storage and transmission solutions have been built, we will need to accelerate that action to get us on the right decarbonisation path to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Australia’s current coal-fired power stations are old, dirty and expensive to run. Basic economics dictate that, whether we like it or not, more than 10 coal-fired power stations are likely to close over the next 10 years because they will become uneconomic and unsafe to continue operating.
Power station closures should occur in an orderly and sensible way, whereby the government provides information to potentially affected communities so they can start to make sensible decisions about their futures.
As with any major industry transition, governments will need to work with community representatives to create the conditions to assist the communities to adjust.