Will Steffen has an op-ed in the Australian urging us to emulate the Swedish experience.
Economies as a whole can benefit from the transition to clean energy and Sweden, for example, already has the runs on the board. Over the past decade, the Swedes have reduced their emissions of carbon dioxide by about 13 per cent, the best performance of any of the world’s wealthy countries.
Okay – so let’s have a look where Sweden gets its electricity from:
The bulk comes from nuclear (a choice Australia has specifically rejected – that’s even before we start considering how expensive it is) and hydro (a cheap source of energy but it does require a particular geography that we lack outside of Tasmania). Sweden also gets a lot of electricity from wood and wastes. I don’t know if they’re burning their forests or not but, again, I’m not sure we can copy them in that area either. In short, Sweden isn’t a role model for us given our very different geography and natural resources and the choice Australian politicians have made about nuclear energy.