Australia can drastically lower carbon emissions in the Asia-Pacific region by exporting zero-carbon commodities. This includes electricity, green hydrogen and green metals. This is according to new research by experts at The Australian National University (ANU).
The study of Australia’s potential to supply zero-carbon commodities to the Asia Pacific is the first to quantify the energy, land and water requirements of a new zero-carbon export model for Australia.
The study shows Australia could reduce the Asia-Pacific region’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 8.6 percent. If the current level of key commodity exports such as thermal coal, liquefied natural gas, iron ore, bauxite and alumina could be replaced by green alternatives.
It would require about two percent of Australia’s land area for solar and wind farms.
The International Energy Agency’s 2020 World Energy Outlook estimated countries in the Asia Pacific contributed about half of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in 2019. The Asia-Pacific is expected to account for almost two-thirds of global energy demand growth over the next two decades.
China, Japan, South Korea, India and Indonesia have already announced net-zero emission targets.
Australia sources and uses energy is transitioning rapidly and the country has an opportunity to lead the way globally.
Emissions from overseas use of Australia’s fossil fuel and ore exports currently dwarf domestic greenhouse emissions. Australia is well-placed to become a regional powerhouse for renewable energy.