NEG must not stymie climate action elsewhere, must deliver on a clean energy future: ACT

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

Serious reform is required if the Federal Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is to allow states and territories like the ACT to deliver on a clean energy future, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today. 

“In preventing us from making additional emissions reductions, it appears that the NEG will not allow progressive jurisdictions to continue getting on with the job of delivering clean, affordable and reliable energy. This is an extraordinarily backward approach—one well out of step with the Finkel Review.

“In its current form, the NEG will stymie the development of renewable energy, and the modelling shows it will be a worse outcome for renewables compared to business as usual. It will do little to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, given the emissions targets that are the foundation of the NEG are clearly incompatible with climate science, and with our Paris Commitments.

“As a jurisdiction that will have 100% of our electricity coming from renewables in two years time, under the proposal put forward, we would be doing the heavy lifting and allowing others off the hook. This is not something that we can accept.

“We need to provide a stable investment environment and long-term investment certainty. This includes striving for a net zero electricity emissions sector by 2050. This will help Australia effectively achieve its emissions targets, and it provides a point of certainty that we need if this proposal is to deliver.

“A number of the states and territories have zero net emissions targets by 2050. This policy will crimp us from achieving the targets that we have set. We need a Commonwealth policy that complements and fits with us—with what’s already well underway at the sub-national level.

“With some of the lowest electricity prices in the country, the ACT is proof positive that with the right conditions in place; investment in clean energy can deliver more than just a band aid solution.

“It’s disappointing that the Federal Government has not changed its tune since the COAG Energy meeting in Hobart last November,” Mr Rattenbury added.