2 Sept 2016


A new report from WWF highlights important signs that an unstoppable global energy transition is underway, and serves as a wakeup call for Australian policy makers.

As leaders of the world’s biggest economies get set to meet in China, G20 and other governments need to recognise that energy is evolving and that they should take the action required to maintain momentum.

The report by WWF-France and WWF-China called 15 Signals: Evidence the Energy Transition is Underway, notes that the recently agreed Paris Agreement on climate change draws a line in the sand for the transformation of the world’s energy system into a clean and sustainable form.

WWF-France CEO Pascal Canfin said evidence of the transformation was clear, but most leaders do not seem to be aware of it.

“Despite the evidence of the energy transition, there is still a wide gap between what leaders are agreeing to in global deals and their actions. We need to accelerate the transition and scale it up to have a chance of keeping global temperature rise to well below 2°C, trying for 1.5°C, as countries committed to in the Paris Agreement just eight months ago,” he said.

WWF-China CEO LO Sze Ping agreed. “Ending fossil fuel subsidies, supporting the deployment of renewables and energy efficiency, increasing green finance and putting a just price on carbon are just some of the actions that can be taken right now to put pace into the transition,” he said. 

“Some countries have shown good examples of pushing for a renewable energy future. However, all countries including the G20 need to take concrete actions to help the global transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, as soon as possible,” said Canfin.

Implications for Australia

WWF-Australia spokesperson Kellie Caught said the report serves as a wakeup call for Australia, clearly showing the world is moving away from fossil fuels and embracing clean renewable energy.

“We need to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy globally, yet the Australian Government continues to put the brakes on at home,” Ms Caught said.

“The Australian Government’s latest move to defund renewable energy research and development will put a spanner in the ability to accelerate Australia’s transition to a clean energy future."

“The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is helping bring down costs, provide grid stability, create jobs and support innovation and worlds first projects."

“The Government could continue funding ARENA and achieve budget repair by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies."

“WWF-Australia is calling on the Australian Government to support initiatives at next week’s G20 to accelerate the global energy transition, and implement policies at home to capitalise on the global shift,” Ms Caught said.

WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, Senior Manager News & Public Affairs, 0432 206 592, drockett@wwf.org.au