A leaked report into the country’s electricity market says Australia is not on track to meet the Paris climate change commitments and that investment in the sector has stalled because there is no long-term Government policy to reduce carbon emissions.
The ABC’s AM has obtained a copy of the preliminary independent report led by Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel, which will be released later today at the COAG heads of government meeting.
It says there is an urgent need for a clear policy on reducing emissions, there is currently no way Australia can reduce carbon levels to what was promised in the Paris Agreement, and is critical of elements of the Government’s Direct Action policy.
The report also refers to an emissions-intensity scheme as being a good option to reduce emissions and to keep electricity prices low, although this week the Government categorically ruled it out as a possible option for Australia’s future energy policy.
Tristan Edis, the director of Green Energy Markets, said the findings would not be a shock to senior figures in the Government.
“Malcom Turnbull and the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg already know all this stuff,” Mr Edis said.
“There will be no surprises in this report, because they’ve been hearing it from their advisers, they’ve been hearing it from the public service, they’ve been hearing it from major stakeholders.”
According to the independent report, commissioned in October following the South Australian blackout, Australia is facing a so-called energy “trilemma”, with three big pressing issues facing the electricity sector.
Those are making sure there is a stable and reliable electricity market, reducing emissions and keeping prices down.
‘No way we’re going to make that target’
Mr Edis said it was no surprise the report says Australia will not reach its Paris climate change commitments to reduce emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent by 2030.
“It’s staring you in the face that there’s no way we can make the Paris targets with the existing policies,” he said.
“It’s blindingly obvious to everyone, so I mean, I can imagine Alan Finkel would not be prepared to put his name to the report without acknowledging that stark truth.”