Beyond Zero Emissions Welcomes ALP's new ZeroBy2050 Commitment

NOVEMBER 27, 2015

(CANBERRA)-- Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes the Australian Labour Party's commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and consult on a 45% reduction target for 2030.

Responding to the announcement, Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Dr. Stephen Bygrave said:

Coal Communities Transition Eased Through Renewable Superpower Future For Australia


Media Release - Beyond Zero Emissions Inc - Melbourne


Greens chart a course to Superpower status with RenewAustralia.


Consumers and Economy Big Winners if Australia Captures Renewable Energy Advantage


Media Release

New report -Consumers and economy big winners if Australia captures
renewable energy advantage

Australia could become a world Renewable Energy Superpower if it captures the
competitive advantage its wind and solar resources provides, a new report by climate think
tank Beyond Zero Emissions finds.

The report also recommends reforming the nation’s energy markets, following dramatic
price rises over the past decade since deregulation.

Growing a better climate for farmers

A new discussion paper released today by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) shows how Australian farmers and foresters, two groups most vulnerable to climate change, can shift from having a negative to a positive impact on climate change.

“Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry” a joint project between BZE and The University of Melbourne's Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute provides a way for Australian farmers to reduce carbon pollution, and bring young people back to regional centres with new employment opportunities.

“Changing land use practices will slash carbon pollution and can provide an alternative income stream for farmers” said Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Stephen Bygrave.  

"The frequency and severity of the extreme weather we used to see were nothing compared to what we've seen in the past decade,” said John Pettigrew, former director of SPC Ltd. and current President of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group.

"Our farmers, given time, can adapt to changing conditions. We can reduce carbon emissions on-farm, move towards sustainable farming systems and even play a major role in producing renewable energy for our urban centres," said Mr Pettigrew.

The land use sector is one of the highest carbon polluting sectors of Australia’s economy - emissions may even be as high as 54% of total national emissions.

“Making changes to land management practices and technologies such as savannah burning, clearfell logging and land clearing for agriculture can turn that around,” said report researcher Andrew Longmire.

“Carbon storage in Australian native forests is underestimated by a factor of up to four or five, meaning that logging is having a much higher impact on the climate than previously recognised. Research has shown the native forests of south-east Australia can sequester 7,500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide if left to recover from clearfell logging.  That’s equivalent to more than 10 years of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions” said Mr Bygrave.

“As the country braces for worsening drought and bushfires this summer, BZE is reaching out to farmers and other landholders to tackle climate change in a way that maximises the productivity and the health of their land, and breathes life back into their communities” said Mr Bygrave.

“Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry” is available on our website at:  High resolution images from the report can be downloaded at:

John Pettigrew and Stephen Bygrave are available for interview.

Media contact:

Genevieve Wauchope     0431 465 952

Beyond Zero Emissions wins NGO Green Lifestyle Award

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The race to build Australia's first 24-hour solar power is on

Climate solutions think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes news that power company Alinta will pursue a solar-thermal “power tower” to replace its ageing coal power stations at Port Augusta in South Australia.

Alinta announced today that its preferred option is a 50 megawatt plant that can store enough solar energy (as heat) to run for 15 hours at night.

Beyond Zero Emissions published a high-level study in 2012 into solar-thermal options for Port Augusta and helped locals launch a campaign to replace the town's coal power stations.

BZE's CEO Stephen Bygrave said the news is a great win for solar.

“This new technology that can supply clean solar power at night will revolutionise our energy supply, and as I've said, that it's inevitable it will be built in Australia. Now the race is on to see which state, and which town, will see the first power tower built”, Mr Bygrave said.

“Port Augusta just pulled ahead in that race. I congratulate the people of Port Augusta and all the groups that have supported this campaign for sticking it out and keeping the solar-thermal with storage option on the table. ”

Image from Repower Port Augusta.

“Alinta are to be congratulated for seeing the value in expanding renewables.

“This progress has been made possible by the existence of the Federal body ARENA [Australian Renewable Energy Agency], which provides funds for these feasibility studies.

“As the residents of Port Augusta know, it's crucial that we keep such support bodies to make a smooth transition to the power of the future.

“We hope that ARENA is able to continue funding this vital work, and that the Renewable Energy Target and Clean Energy Finance Corporation can then help fund the construction of Australia's first baseload solar power station.

“These institutions have been criticised by some recently, but this shows once again that the future lies with renewable energy and we ought to support it.”

Beyond Zero Emissions’ 2012 study on Port Augusta complements the research organisation’s  series of Zero Carbon Australia plans, published in conjunction with The University of Melbourne, that shows how Australia can move to 100% renewable energy in ten years with the political will to do so.

Media Release: Badgerys Creek airport no solution for transport problems

An airport at Badgerys Creek is a patch job which does not address the fundamental constraints on Australia's economy, according to the publisher of the recent study into high-speed rail, Beyond Zero Emissions.
Media release, Beyond Zero Emissions, April 15 2014
For immediate release
"High speed rail has been shown by our report to dramatically reduce domestic air traffic at Sydney airport as well as addressing deeper deficiencies in our current transport infrastructure", said lead researcher Gerard Drew.
"Infrastructure is sorely needed but when we contemplate spending large sums of money in this day and age on long lived infrastructure we really must consider the needs of the future: the livability of our cities, the development of regional Australia and the reduction of our greenhouse gas emission."
"These issues will remain even if an airport is built at Badgerys Creek," said Mr. Drew.
"In fact, when we realise that high speed rail is still needed, the second airport will end up a mothballed relic."

Media Release: Australian high-speed rail line could be running by 2030

High speed rail linking Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would reduce carbon emissions and provide a profitable and popular service, according to research which will be released next week.

Climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is launching the new report on the potential for high speed rail in Australia in Melbourne on Wednesday April 9, and Sydney on April 30.

According to BZE CEO Stephen Bygrave “the research shows that high speed rail can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, in addition to the regional development and economic benefits previously identified.”

The report, a collaboration between BZE, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the University of Melbourne’s Energy Research Institute, has been two years in the making.

The report recommends an alignment broadly similar to the government's recent study, connecting 12 major regional towns, and the cities of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

“Regional travel in Australia is highly concentrated in the east coast corridor, generating some of the busiest flight paths in the world as well as significant traffic on our main interstate highways”, says lead author, Gerard Drew.

Regular investment key to upgrading PT and curing Melbourne transport woes

Media release, 20 November 2013

A budgeted annual investment of $1.74 billion would build the comprehensive rail network upgrade and expansion proposed by Public Transport Victoria, according to a study released today by environmental think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions.

“To deliver the PTV rail upgrade requires structured and ongoing infrastructure investment” said researcher Gerard Drew. “The major parties are yet to show that they can deliver the long term network this city needs to deal with growing population pressure.”

The BZE study and appendix can be downloaded from the following locations:

The metropolitan rail Network Development Plan released by PTV in March this year is a systematic plan to upgrade and expand the network, delivering better than 5 minute peak frequencies for much of the network, metro style interchanges throughout the CBD area and connecting areas of Melbourne that have been promised a train line for decades – such as Doncaster, Roweville, Mernda and Melbourne Airport.


Image: Melbourne's rail network after the NDP is completed, from PTV

Fossil fuel billions better invested in zero emissions alternatives

MEDIA RELEASE, Beyond Zero Emissions, 16 October 2013

Billions of dollars currently invested in fossil fuel industries can and should be withdrawn and re-invested in zero emissions technology immediately. This is the message Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO of climate solutions think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions will deliver to a Brisbane audience tomorrow.

“Beyond Zero Emissions' research is demonstrating that zero emissions technologies can be implemented in Australia across all sectors of the economy right now,” said Dr Bygrave.

“Investment in these technologies is already a reality at a large scale around the world. Divestment from dirty technologies is inevitable, and for investors, every day is a day's missed investment opportunity. There's no reason to wait and every reason to act.”

Image: Grasmere windfarm, Albany WA (from

Beyond Zero Emissions welcomes a new CEO

It is our pleasure to announce that after a long and exhaustive search we are finally able to announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive Officer - Dr Stephen Bygrave. 

Stephen will be commencing as CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions on Monday the 9th of September 2013.

Stephen has worked on climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable transport for the past 20 years, primarily in policy and research positions at a local, national and international level.

Dr Stephen Bygrave

Hundreds launch Zero Carbon Buildings Plan

Australia's buildings could halve their energy use within a decade, to make a major contribution to reducing the nation's carbon emissions – and save money on energy bills in the long run as well.

A large crowd packed out an auditorium at Melbourne University to hear this message at the launch of the Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan on August 8.

The report, from climate solutions think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions and the University's Melbourne Energy Institute, is “the largest crowd-sourced research project yet, and has maintained high academic quality,” said Dominique Hes, University of Melbourne senior lecturer in Architecture, addressing the launch.

Download the full Plan here (PDF, 28MB)

A plan to fix Australia's buildings

The first comprehensive, nationwide plan to fix Australia's buildings' energy use and greenhouse impact is to be launched this week at Melbourne University.

The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan – a joint project of climate solutions think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions and The University of Melbourne Energy Institute – demonstrates how all existing buildings can reach zero emissions from their operations within ten years.

“Australian buildings are not up to the challenges of today,” explained lead author Trent Hawkins.

“Our buildings are generally too hot in summer, too cold in winter, and use a phenomenal amount of energy to run basic services.

“This plan shows how Australia can transform our existing buildings to reduce energy bills, increase comfort and health, and generate renewable energy.”

The Buildings Plan outlines how Australia's existing buildings can cut their energy use in half.

Image: retrofit modelling for a typical Melbourne residential building category (from ZCA buildings report)

It's time to start limiting the gas industry

Gas industry campaign omits gas price hike

July 29 2013

Australians should stand with the farmers who are stopping coal-seam gas developments, not the gas companies who stand to gain, according to a leading climate solutions and technology think-tank.

“It's time to start placing more limits on this industry, not removing what limits we have,” said researcher Richard Keech from Melbourne think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions, in response to the gas industry's "natural advantage" campaign.

Seaspray "No Gasfields" human sign, July 28 2013. Image: Quit Coal

Govt underestimates high-speed rail profits by $190 billion

The government has underestimated by $190 billion the profits of its Melbourne-Brisbane high-speed rail (HSR) plan, enough to repay the capital cost of the network, according to Researchers at independent think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).

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