Energy and climate

  • Adopt an integrated energy and climate change policy which focuses on affordability, reliability, and emissions reduction.
  • This integrated policy must deliver long-term certainty and send a signal to investors to enable them to plan for the future.
  • Develop a framework that ensures an orderly technology transition, particularly for dispatchable generation, and not policies that pick winners and force economic adjustment.
  • Secure investment certainty and encourage companies to invest in keeping existing plants open to deliver more dispatchable generation.
  • Support a technology-neutral approach to the energy mix, ensuring the cheapest and most reliable energy generation gets built at the right time and in the right place.
    • Allow all forms of clean energy technologies to succeed based on merit including carbon capture and storage for coal and gas, geothermal, solar, wave or wind. Nuclear energy as a source of lower emissions technology should not be ignored.
  • Action should be taken on the 106 recommendations of the Finkel Review and the ACCC’s Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry.
  • Implement the Retailer Reliability Obligation through Council of Australian Government's Energy Council.
  • Prevent changes or extensions to the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
  • Support action on climate change.
  • Support Australia ratifying the Paris Agreement and setting a target to reduce Australia’s emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This is a sensible and achievable starting point.
  • Support Australia’s national emissions reduction target being reviewed every five years as part of the regular ‘review and refine’ cycle required under the Paris Agreement. This will ensure there is sufficient flexibility to adjust our climate change goals and policies over time and as circumstances change.
  • Explore opportunities, subject to a cost-benefit analysis, for reducing our energy use in the built environment including:
    • the construction and operation of residential and commercial buildings
    • and, improve the efficiency of lighting and appliances that use a significant amount of energy.
  • Continue work to limit vehicle emissions, and agricultural land use emissions to help meet Australia’s national emissions targets.
  • Amend Section 62 of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012 to remove any technologies from being ineligible for investments made by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation provided it meets its objectives.
  • In the long term, develop a whole-of-economy emissions reduction strategy incorporating access to credible international permits.
  • Replace moratoriums on gas ventures with evidence-based, project-by-project assessments, or find an affordable way of getting gas to the East Coast.
  • Continue to advance gas market reform through the Council of Australian Government's Energy Council.
  • Prevent established gas projects, which have contractual commitments, from being retrospectively forced to supply the domestic market.
    • This would be to impose significant sovereign risk on the gas market and could have a major impact on future investment decisions.
  • Streamline approval processes, remove green tape and stop third-party protest and activist groups delaying access to much-needed fuel supplies.
  • Adopt the Business Council’s best practice model for major project approval as a priority to speed up approvals and provide greater certainty for investors and the community.
  • The model supports decision making within 12 months under a single application, single assessment and single approval approach. It involves:
    • greater strategic planning with better community consultation to direct future land uses and conditions for approval
    • giving primary responsibility for approvals to a single agency, eliminating the need for investors to liaise with multiple departments
    • a single application filed after a pre-application consultation process that gives communities a voice right from the start
    • standardised terms of reference, Environmental Impact Statements and conditions of approval
    • a one-year umbrella timeframe during which a decision should be made
    • better targeted conditions on approvals that are directly linked to environmental outcomes
    • streamlined administration and compliance through better coordination between agencies
    • published data about time taken by agencies to manage applications, their adherence to best practice and how they can improve.