With less than 10 days to go until state and territory energy ministers determine the future of the the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), the Climate Council is calling on states and territories to demand stronger emissions reduction targets for the electricity sector.
Climate Council Acting CEO, Dr Martin Rice said, “Australia needs to rapidly and deeply reduce greenhouse gas pollution levels to effectively tackle climate change and keep pace with the global transition to renewable energy.”
“The electricity sector is Australia’s biggest polluter. But is also the sector with the greatest opportunity to slash the nation’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels, by transitioning to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technologies,” said Dr Rice.
“The NEG, with its woefully inadequate emissions reduction target of 26%, simply won’t deliver the investment in new, clean and reliable renewable energy needed to end Australia’s unhealthy and unsustainable reliance on polluting, ageing and unreliable coal,” he said.
“Securing credible and robust climate and energy policy is simply far too important for states and territories to succumb to pressure and rush through the NEG as proposed. Particularly given the modelling has not been made publicly available and so it appears some of the underlying assumptions behind the NEG may be highly questionable,” said Dr Rice.
The Climate Council’s Senior Energy Analyst, Petra Stock said, “For Australia to achieve sufficient greenhouse gas pollution reductions it must “achieve a minimum range of 50-70% renewable energy across Australia by 2030.”
“We are yet to see a credible climate and energy policy be put forward by the Federal Government. Fortunately, states and territories have been leading the renewable energy transition, driving local investment and jobs particularly in regional areas,” said Ms Stock.
“The NEG as it currently stands will simply act as a handbrake on state and territory leadership and Australia’s booming renewables sector” she said.
“Investor confidence will only increase when Australian climate and energy policy actually drives growth in wind and solar power and effectively tackles rising emissions,” said Ms Stock.
The Climate Council’s ‘Roadmap To A Renewable Future’ recommends Australia continue transitioning away from its ageing, polluting and inefficient coal and gas fleet and encourage investment in a new clean power supply.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDE:
- Australian climate and energy policy must accept the need for deep greenhouse gas pollution cuts from the electricity sector in order to limit global temperature rise and tackle climate change.
- This means slashing carbon pollution from the electricity sector by 60% by 2030, and ensuring that targets can be ratcheted up over time.
- Australia’s electricity sector needs plans in place to reach net zero emissions well before 2050. This is in line with National Energy Market (NEM) state and territory commitments.
- To have any effect on carbon pollution (and not just add bureaucratic red tape), any NEM wide emissions target for 2030 and beyond must meet or exceed the total level of state and territory targets.
- Australia must achieve a minimum of 50 – 70% renewable energy across Australia by 2030.
- Credible climate and energy policy needs to encourage investment in new clean power supply – when and where needed – well in advance of coal closures, and not place reliability in the hands of ageing coal and gas generators.
For more information please contact Senior Advisor – Media and Stakeholder Engagement Kurt Hermann on 0421 007 510.
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
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