Developing a New Climate Change Strategy for South Australia
Australia needs a suite of national, integrated energy and climate change policies to deliver our 2030 target and position Australia to succeed in a low carbon environment. It is encouraging to see in the South Australian Government’s guiding policy principles a focus on cost-effective, best practice measures and the need for coherent, consistent national policies.
The South Australian Government rightly observes that it has an important role to play in ensuring nationally consistent climate change policy that is adequate to achieve Australia’s emission reduction targets. The COAG Energy Council is the appropriate vehicle for this advocacy.
State based approaches and/or targets for reducing emissions will only increase the cost of abatement for the Australian community as a whole and increase the costs and risks facing national businesses operating in South Australia.
The South Australian review should adopt a best practice approach to reviewing regulations and programs including the use of comprehensive cost–benefit analysis and the collection of data and other evidence to provide the justification for any change.
Where there is state-based climate change legislation, the Government should ensure it is consistent with national legislation, minimises variations between jurisdictions and is only enacted to address clear gaps or unique state circumstances.
Any measures, including possible state-based emissions reduction targets or renewable energy initiatives, should not proceed until the interaction with national emissions reduction targets is fully assessed and costed.