The NEG: Kicking the climate can down the road

The proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) continues to miss the mark on slashing Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution and improving energy reliability, following the release of the Federal Government’s discussion paper today.

“The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee fails to address the core question of how Australia will reduce electricity pollution to tackle intensifying climate change,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock.

“When it comes to cutting pollution this proposal is weak. It’s 2030 target of just 26-28% for the electricity sector is too low. This is far below what is needed to tackle climate change,” he said.

Australia's clean energy transition is already well underway. Image: Flickr user windwaerts (CC BY-NC-ND2.0)

“Under the NEG, Australia will actually be locked into this weak target. This proposal is kicking the climate can down the road for another ten to fifteen years.”

“Australia’s transition to clean energy and storage is underway and happening now. But the proposed NEG risks the nation’s renewables and storage boom grinding to a halt.”

Professor Stock said the discussion paper raised more questions than answers over the National Energy Guarantees ability to fulfill its grand promises.

“It’s unclear how new investment in clean energy will be brought online ahead of coal closures. It’s unclear how further competition in the electricity market will be encouraged to drive down power prices. What is clear, is that this policy will not cut pollution and it absolutely will not tackle climate change.”

“The strongest test of credible climate and energy policy is whether it make deep cuts Australia’s rising carbon pollution levels. This can only occur through supporting the rapid rollout of renewable energy and storage technologies, along with the retirement of ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuel power stations.”

“States and Territories are already leading the charge when it comes to Australia’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology. Now, the Federal Government must get on with the job of driving investment in a modern and secure 21st Century energy grid.”

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