You can’t make a net-zero Australia on a gas cooktop

(The Guardian, 19 Dec 2023) There must be trade-offs if we are to get serious about cutting emissions – and phasing out gas appliances is one of the easiest.

In the Climate Change Authority’s inaugural annual review of Australia’s emission reduction progress, it warned us: “There are some hard decisions and trade-offs we, as a society and as individuals, need to make together for a successful transition to a net zero economy.”

In many cases it will fall to politicians to make these trade-offs on our behalf and there will be a range of people and industries significantly affected.

Those who have depended on secure and well paid jobs in coal power stations and coalmines, for example, will have to find new work. The steel industry will need to completely transform itself to either use recycled scrap or hydrogen instead of coal.

Our agriculture sector will have to find a way to address methane emissions from cattle and sheep. Motor mechanics will find that as we switch over to electric vehicles, demand for their services will decline and many will go out of business.

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The Guardian, 19 Dec 2023: You can’t make a net-zero Australia on a gas cooktop