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Oct 26 2021

Energy Council welcomes important step forward for Australia

The Federal Government’s commitment to a net zero emissions target by 2050 is an important step towards the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy, according to the Australian Energy Council. 

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said “The Federal Government’s setting of a formal emissions reduction target is a milestone achievement which will enable a more bipartisanship approach to tackling our climate change goals. 

“It provides greater clarity and focus. We have always argued the first and most critical step to reducing our emissions is agreement on a long-term target, which acts as the starting point for constructive consensus. 

“With an economy-wide net zero target by 2050 we can decide the best ways to get there, and what are the policies and mechanisms required. 

“Last year the AEC endorsed a net zero goal and before that had long-argued for well-designed, market-based, and stable national policy settings around which our members can invest. 

“Today’s announcement recognises that Australians want action on climate change as well as affordable, reliable energy and to this end the adoption of new technologies and investment will be critical. 

“Technology will be a key part of the broader transition towards net zero emissions along with increased electrification of parts of the economy, which is what will also help drive new jobs and opportunities for Australia. 

“Electricity generators, as major carbon emitters, have long recognised their pivotal role in assisting Australia to reduce its emissions.  As a result, we have seen greenhouse gas emissions in the National Electricity Market fall by around 20 per cent over the past decade and they are projected to fall by at least 50 per cent by 2030 from the 2005 baseline. Further reductions are expected beyond 2030, which will help get to the 2050 target. 

“However, whilst electricity continues to make great progress in emissions reduction, other sectors will need to step up and play their part. Australia cannot rely entirely on one sector whilst deferring action elsewhere. Whilst some sectors will need new technology, economic options already exist to electrify heating and light transport. We call for action in these sectors this decade.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting regional Australia in this transition. An economy-wide net zero target for 2050 is an important milestone for Australia and a starting point for a broader decarbonisation effort across the economy.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 20 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia, sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses, and are major investors in renewable energy generation.

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