Australia last on zero-emissions scoreboard

Via the Bloomberg G20 Zero-carbon policy scoreboard:

Governments around the world are considering how best to drive companies and consumers to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions with a view to avoiding catastrophic climate change. Many have begun to implement policies to achieve their goals, including setting a growing number of ‘net-zero’ targets. But which policies have been effective at spurring change so far, and what are the common pitfalls? Where could the next policy-driven opportunities lie? This report seeks to answer these questions by evaluating the G20 countries’ policies to spur decarbonization to determine which governments have implemented the support needed to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement. It highlights examples of what works and could be replicated elsewhere, and flags where more progress is needed.

This is an extended excerpt from the full Zero-Carbon Policy Scoreboard report. Clients can access this more detailed assessment of the policies driving decarbonization in the G20 economies, as well as the underlying datasets, at the following links: web | terminal.

Scoreboard methodology

• The 19 countries covered in this report have been scored out of 100% based on 122 qualitative and quantitative metrics that encompassed the number and types of policies implemented, including by state or provincial governments for the U.S. and Canada, and by the EU for the bloc’s member states.
• We then assessed the ‘robustness’ of each country’s policies as applied to six sectors – power, low-carbon fuels and carbon capture & storage, transport, buildings, industry and the circular economy. The evaluation took account of the transparency and predictability of the process, completeness of the policy mix, ambition and achievability, impact and contribution toward the country’s targets.
• Other, entirely quantitative metrics were used to evaluate the effectiveness of a country’s policy regime, such as sales of electric vehicles (EVs) or heat pumps, and share of renewables in a country’s total electricity generation.

Scoreboard results

• Germany, France, South Korea, the U.K. and Japan are in the top quartile because they have implemented a higher number of robust, concrete measures to achieve ambitious-but achievable targets. Their policy-making processes are relatively transparent and predictable, and their initiatives are starting to have a measurable impact increasing renewables build or electric vehicle (EV) sales, for example.
• With an average score of 67%, these countries have strong incentives for renewable power and flexible resources such as battery storage. In addition, their governments have begun to introduce measures to reduce emissions outside the electricity sector – notably transport and/or circular economy. This is important because all five nations have net-zero emission targets for 2050, legislated or due to be passed into law in the next year.
• More often than not, policy makers in these nations have introduced both supply- and demand-side policies – making use of carrots and sticks – as well as for related infrastructure. They all price greenhouse-gas emissions or tax fossil fuel consumption, although none of their policies in these regards is perfect.
• No country has a perfect score for all areas, with those for the industry and buildings sectors most commonly the lowest. Governments will therefore need to consider how to best address these weaknesses if they wish to achieve their climate targets and deliver their share of emission reductions.

• Coming close behind are those in the second quartile: Italy, Canada, China, the U.S. and Australia all have strong decarbonization policies in at least one sector. Most commonly, this is for power but two have secured the top spot for other areas of the economy: the U.S. ranks first for fossil-fuel decarbonization, and China for transport (with France and Germany).
• However, with an average score of 50% among them, these governments’ policy mixes are generally incomplete, meaning they have yet to promote decarbonization in some areas. Alternatively, they may have gaps in the policy support they offer to certain sectors.
• With an average score of 38%, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey are in the third quartile because they offer notably less support for decarbonization, both in terms of number and quality of policies. This is especially the case outside the power sector – eg, industry and circular economy.
• Those in the bottom quartile – Argentina, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Russia – have significant room for improvement. Their average score of just 28% reflects a dearth of measures in place. They have done most in power, but even those policies are often hampered by delays or overly stringent rules on participation. These countries have done little to nothing to decarbonize their transport, industry, and buildings sectors.

Last among developed economies.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

    • Biased list. Aus has zero volcanoes, zero oil well burn offs.
      The greenhouse gasses seem to be CO2 not pollutants, including radioactive leaks constantly, pollutants atmospheric and water which includes both sea and waters flowing i into it. How long will this go on, antartic sea ice growth continues exceeded only by that in 2014 . CO2 level is quite low especially from point of view of the Plant Kingdom.
      Then pollutants released by bioweapon or big Pharma research labs,reaally a genuine look at pollutants on the planet far extends beyond 0.04% atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    • Cutting down the world economy the past year, reducing travel, flights, ships, commuting to work, weekend trips has cut world CO2 by 7%

  1. Isn’t this just another case of the developed world patting itself on the back for not raping mother earth with the same gusto as their forefathers?
    Lets normalize these figures for population and see who stays on the leader boards
    Better still lets forget about the Change in Carbon usage (Decarbonization) and look at our absolute Carbon footprints again normalized for population.
    Now, being part of the first world we wouldn’t ever want those figures published, so we settle for this sort of drivel.
    Personally I have more respect for those big carbon users that remain focused on their own objectives, at least they’re honest.

    • But, the first world wouldn’t have simply shifted their carbon footprint to an overseas destination, would they?
      That would seem a bit silly.
      Of course that is exactly what enacting carbon restrictions in the first world ends up doing in most cases, but yay us.

    • Raging giantMEMBER

      Nice fake news source you got there. If only it had some truth to it then you might have a point.

  2. You can have all the zero emissions targets you like. They are nothing but virtue signalling without substance unless they include nuclear power in the mix (unless you happen to be blessed with enormous hydro capability).

    No jurisdiction anywhere in the world has come even close to decarbonising its electricity grid (which will only have to expand significantly to cover electric vehicles) solely with wind+solar+batteries.

    So I find it difficult to take seriously all this virtue signaling about targets and claims from the (so called) Greens who talk about an “emergency” and a “crisis” yet cannot even countenance or bring themselves to consider nuclear power based on the evidence that is the safest, most reliable and cost effective way to enable a reliable carbon free grid.

    But that’s what ideological blinkers do – so we have to hit a wall before people wake up – sigh 🙂

    • 10 years ago I would have agreed but today there’s simply no way that you will ever finance a Nuclear Power station in Australia.
      You can have all laws and political/ social the will in the world, but if the investment money is not available it’s just not going to happen. And this is where we’re at today.
      In Australia specifically PV solar (duck curve) is already making it very difficult to profitably operate a traditional coal burning power station because of the lack of midday demand for baseload power. From my understanding most designs of Nuclear power station are even more difficult to regulate than a traditional coal fired power station which makes Nuclear even less attractive from an infrastructure investment perspective.

    • Raging giantMEMBER

      There is too much NIMBY everywhere in Australia and you would have tears on all sides (expect the loudest from property owners within 400km). Nuclear fission has potential and fusion is the energy holy grail but you are fighting an uphill battle against an undereducated population who think 5G causes COVID-19…

  3. TheLambKingMEMBER

    You can have all the zero emissions targets you like. They are nothing but virtue signalling without substance unless they include nuclear power in the mix (unless you happen to be blessed with enormous hydro capability).

    That is just rubbish. There are many papers describing how this can happen with solar+wind+batteries. It hasn’t happened yet because of cost – not capability. And the ‘cost’ will be solved in time. Solar+Batteries will half in price twice in the next 10 years.

    But that’s what ideological blinkers do – so we have to hit a wall before people wake up – sigh 🙂

    That also is just rubbish. It is all to do with cost and time to delivery. Nuclear costs too much money and takes too long to come online. For the same cost you can have double the generation capacity firmed by partial batteries on-line within 4-5 years. If you take the same 10 years (and same costs – because of decreasing solar + battery costs), you will have 3-4 times the generation capacity (of nuclear) fully backed by battery! Who is going to build something with no return for 10 years? It has NOTHING to do with ideology.

    • I am afraid you are sadly ill informed – I suggest you read more widely to challenge your pre-disposed view point. There are also inconsistencies in your logic – how can it be a “matter of cost” when the claim is also made that “renewables are cheaper”

      You really need to look more closely at what the costs for modern nuclear too – the UAE manages to get sufficient nuclear power equivalent to more than half the Australia grid for less than half the price it would take to have sufficient batterly backup just to keep South Australias lights on for a week.

      As for your comment “There are many papers describing how this can happen with solar+wind+batteries” – so you rely on speculative papers not evidence? (there are just as many papers debunking these claims) – you should go and look at them perhaps?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_the_United_Arab_Emirates#:~:text=United%20Arab%20Emirates%20is%20installing%20nuclear-powered%20plants%20to,Non-Proliferation%20Treaty%20%28NPT%29%2C%20along%20with%20the%20additional%20protocol.

      https://newmatilda.com/2021/01/27/delusion-and-dirty-neighbours-help-sa-cruise-through-another-heat-wave/

      I would encourage to read these links with an open (but of course critical) mind before replying to me but I am guessing (I hope I am wrong) that your ideological blinkers that have led to you4 current displayed ignorance on the topic will prevent you

      Have a nice day regardless

      • Nuclear as a commercial option is dead. Discussing it is nothing
        but a than misdirection to distract people thinking its an
        actual option… waste of time..

        Many research papers have been released, and many on the way
        but its still immature, and nobody is actually working on real-life
        use of it..

        We are talking 20-60 years before it might be commercially usable.

      • TheLambKingMEMBER

        I completely agree with you that in 2009 (the date that the UAE nuclear program started) that Nuclear WAS the correct solution. The first unit went on-line last year (not at full capacity) 8 years after starting construction. But technology has moved on.

        And even using costs from 3 years ago (when the SA battery was installed), nuclear power ‘almost’ makes sense. The logic that I am using is the reducing costs of solar & batteries (20% reduction per year) and wind (10% per year) compared to Nuclear, which does not have a material cost reductions. The exponential reductions in costs of solar+batteries will eat all alternatives.

        You really need to look more closely at what the costs for modern nuclear too – the UAE manages to get sufficient nuclear power equivalent to more than half the Australia grid for less than half the price it would take to have sufficient batterly backup just to keep South Australias lights on for a week.

        Yes, I have. And instead of using $30bil (UAE commission costs) and 10 years commissioning a nuclear power plant and instead spend $3bil just on batteries EVERY year for the next 10 years we will end up with enough batteries to power Australia for a week. BUT nobody NEEDS batteries to last a week!

        • I’m sorry – I do not whyat you have looked at but you have clearly not understood the links I have provided.

          In fact – we DO need battery backup to last a week – as the data in the New Matilda article makes abundantly clear

          “How many “world record” batteries would we have needed fully charged at the start of the week to get us through till the end? Meaning to fully cover the gap between what wind and solar were giving us? Just over 700.

          And a quick reminder, we have one. Not 700. And it cost about $161 million to construct.” – so that’s over $83 Billion of batteries to survive a real week of renewables generation in a single state.

          AS for your data on costs – you really are not across the latest I am sorry

          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

          Have a look (in detail) at figure 12 and read the policy indications section 5.1 – it is NOT a given that costs get higher

          “While several countries show increasing costs over time – with the US as the most extreme case – other countries show more stable costs in the longer term and cost declines over specific periods in their technological history. Moreover, one country, South Korea, experiences sustained construction cost reductions throughout its nuclear power experience. The variations in trends show that the pioneering experiences of the US or even France are not necessarily the best or most relevant examples of nuclear cost history.”

          • Just a couple of points about having PV Solar mix in Renewables.
            Electricity grid designers that know what they’re talking about are not interested in having 100% of the energy supplied by Solar they want to see a system built that can provide 300% of the average demand.
            They want a system where 2/3rds of the power generated by your Solar panels is just wasted.
            So keep this in mind when you assess the battery size requirement
            The reason this is important is that most Solar systems will still deliver something like 25% of their rated capacity even on an overcast day. To be honest it has to be a really bad mid winters day to get less than 10% of rated capacity from a PV array.
            If the system peak capacity is 3 times normal demand than suddenly your 3 week battery becomes a 3 day battery especially if you know that you have Diesel gen capacity to fall back on.

  4. TheLambKingMEMBER

    I’m sorry – I do not whyat you have looked at but you have clearly not understood the links I have provided.

    I do. I don’t think you understand compounding maths

    How many “world record” batteries would we have needed fully charged at the start of the week to get us through till the end? Meaning to fully cover the gap between what wind and solar were giving us? Just over 700.

    And a quick reminder, we have one. Not 700. And it cost about $161 million to construct.” – so that’s over $83 Billion of batteries to survive a real week of renewables generation in a single state.

    So again, with compounding diminishing costs (that come with increased production) – 3 years ago we had 1 ‘big battery.’ By the end of this year we will have 4 – all built for about the cost of 2 of the original. So in another 3 lots of 3 years there will be 64 – in the 9 years after that 4096 (if you think that is a silly amount, don’t. Think of a 100MWh battery in each local substation – roughly the size of shipping container)

    of batteries to survive a real week of renewables generation in a single state.

    But you will NEVER get a week with no wind or sun. Read https://www.rethinkx.com/energy It shows how in a place like New England (snow and dark in winter) needs 90 hours (3.5 days) but the East Coast of Australia would be more like Texas which only needs about 35 hours of batteries. And that is a pure solar+wind+batter grid for the paper – in Australia we also have a lot of existing hydro that can fill gaps.

    As costs for Nuclear are not decreasing by anything approaching the 10-20% of Solar+Wind+Batteries it will only be getting more expensive comparitively every year.