By Hugh Finlay
Australia which has been lagging behind in the introduction of electric vehicles, is changing its policy. The Australian government, along with the state government of Queensland, are planning to build a highway 1,000 miles (1,800 km) long. The highway will stretch along the route of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef draws 2 million tourists a year, providing Australia with $1.53 billion in tourist revenue. But this highway will have a special feature. It will have free charging stations for electric vehicles, and the electricity from the charging stations will come from renewable sources.
The first phase of the highway will take in almost 20 towns and cities. Steven Miles, the Queensland State Minister, said "This project is ambitious, but we want as many people on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low-emissions future." The chief executive of Australia 's Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari, said that the project shows that the Australian government is serious about introducing electric vehicles, and that the project "provides certainty to unlock investment to grow our economy and create new, high skilled jobs." So far, Australia has been behind in the electric car race, but that will change, with the government hoping to have 12,000 electric vehicles in Australia, by 2020. The aim is to have a million electric vehicles in the country, by 2030, said Australia's Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg.
Australia is no doubt reacting to moves by other countries, such as Britain and France, which are aiming to have only electric vehicles on their roads by 2040. Pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles, in London and Paris, is high, and the mayors of Paris, Athens, Mexico and Madrid are planning to ban all diesel vehicles from their cities by 2025. The head of Norway's biggest pension fund said "The world has started the transition from fossil to a renewable economy."
World leaders have reaffirmed their determination to follow the terms of the Paris Climate Accord. Support for the accord came particularly from France, Germany, and Italy. Russia and China are also strong supporters of the accord. Li Keqiang, the Chinese Premier described combating global warming as an "international responsibility." India also strongly supports the Paris Accord. The 5 Nordic countries of Europe issued a statement issued a statement saying "The effects (of global warming) are already visible in all parts of our planet. It is of crucial importance that all parties stick to the Paris Agreement."