My letter as per below was published to day in the AFR:
In “We are ill-prepared for China’s great energy shift” (AFR 20thNovember 2014) Peter Sheehan and Jiang Kejun contend China is setting a new course on energy policy with profound consequences for the Australian economy.
What is becoming increasingly obvious is China is gaining in momentum in reducing its dependency on fossil fuels, and is transitioning rapidly to a low-carbon sources of energy by investing heavily in cleaner technologies ,from everything to large scale infrastructure and buildings to electric cars and consumer goods.
The move to a lower emissions economy is prompting some officials to suggest the coal share of energy usage might fall to 60 % by 2022 and 50% or less by 2030. According to Paul Joffe, who is Senior Foreign Policy Counsel of the World Resources Institute , China is already taking action to address the climate problem as its seeks to “rebalance” its economy into less energy-intensive service type industries.
China is already a global leader in cleaner technologies and Australia should follow other countries including the US into China in seeking to partner joint ventures in clean energy and technology solutions. This will require Australia to accelerate research and development into cleaner energy technologies and promote its services areas of the economy to take advantage of these crucial expanding opportunities in the decades ahead and not to rely on its traditional materials exports.