THE NATIONAL ENERGY GUARANTEE (NEG) falls short across the board when it comes to tackling climate change, according to a Climate Council submission to the Commonwealth Government today.
Climate Councillor and energy sector veteran Professor Andrew Stock said “The Federal Government needs to take decisive action to tackle climate change effectively but the proposed National Energy Guarantee simply isn’t up to the task.”
“The Federal Government’s planned NEG will legislatively lock in woefully inadequategreenhouse gas pollution cuts for electricity out to 2030. This means other major sectors of the economy, like transport, industry and agriculture, will need to do the heavy lifting on emissions reduction if Australia is to have any hope of meeting its Paris commitments,” he said.
“The NEG in its current form risks stifling clean energy investment and could actually result in fewer jobs,”
“The Energy Security Board has projected that the NEG would result in 28-36% renewable energy by 2030. At the lower end of this range, the NEG could result in 6,600 less jobs being created compared to continuing business as usual,” said Professor Stock.
The Climate Council submission highlights a collection of problems and concerns with the National Energy Guarantee, including a weak 2030 target, a lack of a long term pathway to zero emissions and the likely restrictions on states, territories and corporates making additional greenhouse gas pollution cuts (perversely the NEG calls this ‘overachieving’).
“Coal has no future in Australia’s energy mix, with the cost of new coal power stations hugely expensive and fundamentally at odds with cutting Australia’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels,” said Professor Stock.
Climate Council recommendations include:
- Reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the electricity sector by 60% by 2030 (on 2005 levels).
- Set emissions reduction targets and trajectory beyond 2030 to reach net zero emissions well before 2050. This is in line with National Electricity Market state and territory commitments to reaching net zero emissions economy wide by 2050.
- Enable states, territories, local governments and corporations to take additional action to cut greenhouse gas pollution, and recognise these cuts as additional to the woeful 26% NEG target, just as consumer Greenpower purchases will be.
- Enable targets to be ramped up well before 2030 (the woefully inadequate NEG targets would be locked in by Federal legislation for a decade).
- Encourage investment in new clean, renewable power supply – when and where needed, well in advance of coal closures to deliver real emission reductions in Australia, keep downward pressure on prices and reduce price shocks when old coal stations close.
- Disallow the use of “offsets” as these will not achieve or contribute materially to the electricity industry transition in Australia.
“Australia is a global laggard when it comes to climate action. Amongst the G20 countries, Australia’s emission reduction target – a reduction of 26-28% on a 2005 baseline – is nowhere near what is required for us to do our fair share in meeting 2°C target under the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Professor Stock.
“Australia needs credible climate and energy policy to accelerate the transition away from ageing, inefficient and polluting coal towards clean renewable energy and storage solutions. The NEG fails to measure up,” he said.
For more information please contact Senior Advisor – Media and Stakeholder Engagement, Kurt Hermann on 0421 007 510.
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