New ministry must provide policy leadership on Australia’s climate and energy challenges Media Release

Jul 18, 2016 - 5:12pm

The Climate Institute welcomes the integration of the Environment and Energy ministries as part of the federal government ministerial reshuffle, emphasizing the need for leadership on climate and energy policy in order to unlock the billions of dollars in new clean energy investment required to meet the objectives laid out under the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We are at a critical time for our country and economy – while the shift to clean energy is already happening globally, the hodge podge of climate and energy policies in Australia is deterring investments,” said The Climate institute CEO, John Connor. “Our politicians must work together to achieve solid, constructive progress that integrates energy and climate policy and smooths this inevitable transition to clean energy.”

Connor said that the looming 2017 review of the government’s climate and energy policy framework provided an opportunity for the future.

“The 2017 climate policy review presents the government, with the support of the opposition, a solid opportunity to run an inclusive, evidence-based, solutions-driven process for real, credible action on climate change and energy that will set the scene for Australian prosperity, safety and public trust for decades to come,” he said. “A mechanism for the steady replacement of ageing coal-burning power stations with clean energy, over the next 20 years, should be central to any plan.” 

Countries that are part of the Paris Agreement are working toward the agreed objective of achieving net zero emissions by mid-century and keeping global warming to 1.5-2°C above pre-industrial revolution levels.

“The world was moving before the Paris Agreement was forged and has not stopped since,” Connor said. “It is imperative that Australia joins other countries, the global investment community and leading businesses in making a real, credible contribution to solving this international and domestic problem for future generations.”

He reiterated that The Climate Institute had recommended three steps that the government should take if it is have a credible and durable policy response:
1.set pre 2050 net zero emission objectives, with credible emission reduction pathways and regular independent processes of review; 
2.implement economic and community strategies to manage the transition to decarbonisation; and 
3.integrate climate risks and opportunity assessments into core decision making.

Connor said the Climate Institute congratulated Greg Hunt on his new portfolio and looked forward to a constructive relationship with both he and Mr Frydenberg over the policy challenges ahead for climate, industry and energy issues.

For more information:Brinsley Marlay ● Media Manager ● 0422 140 555 or 02 8239 6299
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