A new report commissioned by IChemE Energy Centre has revealed major countries including India, Australia, and South Africa will fail to achieve emissions targets determined at the COP21 climate change talks in Paris, France.

Titled ‘Transitions in Electricity Systems Towards 2030’, the report emphasises on the view that a country should focus strongly on its power generation sector in order to ensure its progress.

Launched in London, the report assessed the systems of India, Malaysia, China, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, and the UK. All countries involved have a community of chemical engineers and are also significant emitters of greenhouse gases.

Based on the condensed principles of rational energy policy scoring methodology, the report assessed the performance of each country by its existing low-carbon generation capacity and current policy trends.

The UK topped the list with a score of +2, while India scored -4, South Africa -3, and Australia scored lowest at -5.

According to the study, major changes in a nation’s energy policies can slow down progress towards lower CO2 emissions.

Co-author of the report at Imperial College London Renée van Diemen said: "One of the countries I profiled in the report was Australia, and some of the findings were eye-opening.

"Major changes in a nation’s energy policies can slow down progress towards lower CO2 emissions."

"The Australian government’s justification for their repeal of a carbon pricing mechanism was to ensure international competitiveness on the energy market. However, it has hindered progress in reducing electricity sector emissions.

"The power sector is one of the biggest contributors to energy-related emissions not just in Australia, but globally. We must make meaningful structural changes here to have any hope of limiting average global temperature rises."

The report stated that power generation capacity is responsible for 30%-40% of the CO2 emissions across the countries. In order attain emissions targets, alternative power generation technologies have to be deployed immediately.

Image: IChemE Transitions in Electricity Systems Towards 2030 report launched in London. Photo: courtesy of IChemE.