Greenhouse gas emissions, energy security and energy affordability, and new energy markets are taking centre-place in geopolitical, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Asia has quickly become the largest market for, and producer of, alternative energy technology including wind turbines and solar cells.
Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, is taking an active position in post-2012 climate change negotiations, has passed an aggressive expansion of the Renewable Energy Target, is providing direct incentives and grants for the development of new technologies and businesses, has implemented robust emissions accounting standards and regulations, and is due apply a price to carbon.
Australia is also a significant global supplier of fossil fuels – notably coal – which is the largest global contributor to growth in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, and now has one of the most aggressive natural gas exploration and infrastructure investment programs in the world.
There is increasing evidence of supply constraints of conventional fossil fuels. Rapid growth in demand from high-growth emerging economies, combined with geopolitical risk, will provide for an increasingly volatile and tight conventional energy market. Energy security is already the salient driver of a tectonic shift in global energy markets.
As the world attempts to maintain macroeconomic sustainability, global environmental sustainability is also at a critical juncture.
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