Is dependence on coal likely to hinder the move to low-carbon economies in Australia and China? Victoria University researcher Alexander English wants to find out.
Dr English is embarking on a three-year research project to compare the impediments and processes driving the implementation of low-carbon technologies in China and Australia.
"China and Australia are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change - both economically and environmentally - and need to make significant investments in mitigation and adaptation strategies," Dr English said.
"A cross-country comparison may not only result in mutual learning but also - given the close trade links in commodities such as coal and iron ore - may identify areas of possible mutual co-operation in the transfer of carbon reduction technologies and other policy innovations between China and Australia.
"Australia's wasteful use of energy and water has been described as 'hot, wet and heavy'; the same could be said of China. Both countries face similar challenges in responding to climate change because both economies are heavily dependent on coal-based energy sources."
Dr English's research has been funded by VU as part of its innovative Postdoctoral Research Fellowships program, which aims to build the university's research output and to support outstanding early career researchers.
At the launch of the fellowships program today, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Region Professor Linda Rosenman said: "Dr English's project is a fine example of the applied research VU is conducting.
"Climate change and the imminent introduction of international limits on carbon emissions pose the most significant long-term threat faced by the global economy.
"VU has identified strategic economics as an area of research strength and Dr English's project will make a vital contribution to our understanding of the factors shaping our response to climate change in Australia and in one of our major trading partners, China."
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