Solaray staff joined the recent Global Climate Strike rally in Sydney along with an estimated 80,000 people who flocked to the Domain to support stronger action against climate change.
School students and their parents made up a large proportion of crowds that gathered in cities and towns across Australia.
Many were inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s School Strike 4 Climate movement.
Thunberg gave an impassioned speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York this week, in which she said children would “never forgive” politicians for inaction on climate change.
“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” she told the assembly. “How dare you!”
What exactly is the Paris Agreement?
At the centre of climate change debate is the Paris Agreement, a 2015 United Nations commitment by nations, including Australia, to act against global warming.
The agreement acknowledges that industrial activity creates carbon emissions, trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the planet. This is damaging the environment and affecting lives.
Signatory nations agree to stop global temperatures rising to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. How they do this is up to them, but there is an emphasis on reducing coal and gas electricity generation, as well as petrol-driven cars.
The Paris Agreement does not specify penalties if countries do not meet their targets. It operates on the basis that some countries will lead by example and others will follow.
Australia’s Renewable Energy Target
Australia’s Paris target is to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.
One way it is achieving this is through the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET), which was set up in 2001.
The initial aim was to source Australia’s energy from at least 2% renewables, like wind, hydro and solar power.
The 2019 ‘Clean Energy Australia Report’ revealed electricity generated by renewables increased to 21% of total power generation in 2018, its highest ever level.
In January this year, the Clean Energy Regulator confirmed that the large-scale Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) would be met by 2020.
Become part of the push against climate change
If you missed the rally, you can still play a major part in reducing emissions by installing rooftop solar panels. Installing a solar power system is one of the most effective things you can do to reduce your household’s carbon footprint.
Installing solar also means you are entitled to a discount on installation costs, thanks to the RET.
The RET’s small-scale renewable energy scheme issues Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) to every installation. These can be worth thousands of dollars and the amount is deducted from the cost of your solar panel installation.
Find out more about how a solar power system can help reduce your power bills and carbon footprint with a free 10-minute call with one of our solar experts:
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