Australia’s renewable energy sector has begun losing out on outside private investments due to the country’s lack of a clear direction for the future of the industry. Many other countries, in recent years, have set definitive carbon emission goals as well as establishing a an ideal level of energy output that comes from renewable energy resources. Australia, on the other hand, has made a haphazard attempt to generate productivity in the industry and it has drastically affected the incoming flow of wealth that would allow for further development.
“The damning report on the state of renewable energy, entitled Lagging Behind: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change, said the country was losing out on valuable business. Investment that could be coming to Australia was going overseas "to countries that are moving to a renewables energy future", said Tim Flannery, one of the report's authors. He said most countries around the world had accelerated action on climate change in the last five years because the consequences had become more and more clear” (www.bbc.com).
In order to maintain a similar level as its competition, Australia will need to boost its carbon reduction efforts to 40% by the year 2025 (www.bbc.com). Unless the Australian government wishes to step in and enact legislation that sets a clear course for the country’s future in the field of renewables, the industry will continue to look bleak for the foreseeable future.
With international treaties being put into place that promise a certain level of transition into renewable energy as well as an agreed reduction of carbon emissions, Australia will be left behind if they do not join the movement now. This is the era of transition into renewables, and only the countries that join the bandwagon will be the successful ones.
As part of Africa’s 50-year development plan, 42 African countries have agreed to endorse a sustainability framework targeting the continent’s transport sector.
The framework, signed at the Africa Sustainable Transport Forum, calls for increased investment in clean technologies as well as improved transportation supported by low-emission vehicles. This strategy was formally incorporated into Agenda 2063, the continent-wide development plan that aspires for “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.”
According to Adam Steiner, executive director of UNEP, who hosted the event at the organization’s Nairobi headquarters, he agreed that this “will provide the platform for Africa’s decision-makers to share best practices, coordinate sustainable transport efforts and provide focus to development planning”.
In attendance was also UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who echoed his support for this decision:
“Your commitment to develop and maintain reliable, modern, sustainable and affordable infrastructure in both rural and urban areas is in line with the emerging African Agenda 2063 and the associated Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda,” said Mr. Ban.
This new strategy could play a role in improving Africa’s air quality, while rendering transit more accessible to millions of people. With urban air pollution on the rise, emissions are rapidly increasing, with figures highlighting air pollution as the leading cause behind 49,000 deaths per year in the sub-Saharan region. Unequal access to transit is also among the many challenges posed to poor and rural people in the region.