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Jan 20 2023

Response to NSW EPA’s Climate Change Policy and Action Plan

The peak body for electricity generators and retailers, the Australian Energy Council, said the New South Wales EPA’s Climate Change Policy and Action Plan represented uncharted territory that will need to be carefully navigated to achieve the best outcomes.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said “Best practice is to reduce carbon emissions through nationally consistent economy-wide policy, such as the Safeguard Mechanism, which is currently being revised.

“Having a state-based regulator setting carbon targets is not ideal as it risks duplicating existing national decarbonisation policies and initiatives.

“But we recognise the impetus for this approach has emerged because of a court ruling last year, and the EPA has committed to ensuring the plan is supplementary to existing policy and appropriately targeted towards lagging sectors.

“For the electricity sector in NSW there are already policies in place, such as the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and electricity strategy, that will drive emissions down.  At the same time, there are Federal targets to reach an 83 per cent renewable share of generation, which will continue to see electricity sector emissions fall dramatically.

“The electricity sector has already reduced its national emissions by 20 per cent from 2005 levels and is forecast to achieve a 60 per cent reduction by 2030.

“The EPA’s Plan recognises the role of the electricity sector in already reducing its emissions and does not burden it with unnecessary new obligations. This is thanks to the Plan’s careful design and gives industry confidence in its success.”

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