There could be significant changes to how Australians live thanks to the net-zero by 2050 target — and they’re likely to happen very quickly. Australia looks set to adopt a net-zero by 2050 target, and while it might have taken a while for the country to get to this point — change will likely happen quickly.
The emissions reduction target is still 30 years away, but experts believe many of the changes required will need to happen in the next ten years for the world to have a good chance of meeting this goal.
Climate Councillor economist Nicki Hutley believes Australians will notice things changing pretty quickly. “I think change will come much more quickly than people understand now,” Ms. Hutley told news.com.au.
This is partly because state and territory governments, as well as businesses, were already acting. “We are already on this path, but I think it will happen more quickly, partly because of international pressure for it to happen, but also because people are there and the policies are on the way — we just need to move more quickly,” she said.
Ms. Hutley believes the coronavirus pandemic has also helped people. “They understand that radical changes can happen quickly, and we are far more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for.” So what does net zero mean for Australians, and how much will it change people’s lives? This is what we know.
Our holidays may change
The global aviation industry produces around 2 per cent of all carbon emissions so the race is on to find a way to make this more efficient. There is already research into biofuels or hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.
Other options could include giving people an emissions budget for travel every year, so the burden is shared equally, Ms. Hutley said. People may choose to holiday closer to home to reduce emissions, and electric-powered campervans may become a familiar sight on our roads.
WFH could stay, and bike lanes will improve
Cities are already improving active transport infrastructure like bike lanes to make it easier for people to travel short distances without generating emissions.
Ms. Hutley believes governments will also improve public transport, and coronavirus has already changed the thinking around working from home. “I think cities will look different; there will be more working from home but also more regional hubs,” she said.
We’ll need to switch from gas to electricity
Gas cooktops were once a sought-after feature, but they could soon be a thing of the past, with induction alternatives seen as a great environmentally friendly alternative.