Joint Statement: Addressing All Parts Of The Energy Trilemma Is Essential

Ahead of the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council meeting this week, representatives of Australia’s small and large businesses; conservation groups; energy network, supply and services sectors; investors; property sector; and social services sector have together agreed that driving down electricity costs is urgent, and that addressing emissions and reliability are not only critical in their own right but are essential parts of achieving cost reduction.

Electricity costs are a key part of the “energy trilemma”, together with reliability and emissions reductions. Reducing electricity costs requires investment in electricity supply and unlocking this investment requires credible and stable policy. Investors will only view policy as durable if it effectively addresses all parts of the trilemma, including meeting emissions reduction commitments.

We support Australia’s full participation in the Paris Agreement and deployment of effective, efficient and equitable plans in energy and the rest of the economy to deliver on Australia’s Paris commitments. Continuing bipartisan commitment to Paris sends a clear long-term signal to investors and contributes to the global solution needed to minimise climate change.

A major global transition towards lower emissions and ultimately net zero emissions is both necessary and inevitable, and in Australia’s electricity sector a low emissions transition is already underway.

We believe this transition will benefit Australians overall. But we note that it could also have uneven impacts on some groups such as low income households; displaced workers and their communities; and emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries (EITE) and their employees. These groups will likely require specific measures as we address the energy trilemma.

Durable agreement on sound policy frameworks and the direction of change can deliver a smoother, fairer and even more prosperous transition. We call on all sides of politics to deliver stable policy and investment certainty by addressing all parts of the energy trilemma—cost, reliability and emissions reduction.

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 22 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

Media contact:
Carl Kitchen 0401 691 342