Australia can do better than the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), according to the Climate Council.
The council today released a national energy roadmap outlining how Australia can cut its rising greenhouse gas pollution levels, while continuing the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.
The Clean & Reliable Energy: Roadmap To A Renewable Future report features 12 key policy principles for any national energy and climate policy framework, including calls for the rollout of a minimum 50-70 per cent renewable energy target across Australia by 2030.
“Australia needs a fresh approach to cutting greenhouse gas pollution from our electricity,” Climate Councillor and energy expert Greg Bourne said.
“The Federal Government’s offering of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) simply doesn’t cut it on improving energy reliability, cutting power prices and tackling climate change. Australia can do better than this.”
“Australia’s transition to renewables and storage is already underway.
“The only thing placing this at risk is political will.
“This roadmap calls for twelve basic, key policy principles that should apply to any credible national climate and energy policy in Australia.”
The roadmap framework recommends Australia continue to transition away from its “ageing, polluting and inefficient” coal and gas fleet and encourage investment in a new clean power supply.
The report calls for pollution targets that can be ratcheted up along with transparent tracking and reporting of carbon pollution levels.
“This roadmap shows it’s our electricity sector that has the greatest potential to slash pollution through the transition to a 21st Century energy grid, consisting of clean renewables and storage technologies,” Mr Bourne said.
“In order to tackle climate change, the electricity sector needs to cut its carbon pollution by more than 60 per cent over the next decade and head towards zero pollution. Renewables plus storage is how we can do it.”
Climate Councillor and energy sector veteran Professor Andrew Stock said the federal government was “missing in action” when it comes to credible climate and energy policy.
“The proposed NEG falls short across the board when it comes to reliable affordable power and tackling climate change. It simply doesn’t deliver on any of these key goals,” he said.
Professor Stock said the federal government must go beyond the states’ leadership and rollout strong and credible climate and energy policy in order to drive the necessary cuts to greenhouse gas pollution in the electricity sector, while also maintaining reliable and affordable power.
“The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is rapidly closing. Australia cannot settle for anything less than strong, credible climate and energy policy. The NEG is anything but that,” he said.
The report comes as the submissions to the NEG Consultation Paper close Thursday.