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May 05 2023

Statement on National Net Zero Authority

The peak body for electricity generators and retailers, the Australian Energy Council (AEC), said a national authority to support and complement existing work to manage the transition to a net zero emissions economy was welcome.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said “the energy transition will present significant challenges, none more so than for communities that have been reliant on coal-fired generation plants and coal mining. Without appropriate support there will be risks to the economic wellbeing of former plant workers and regions when closures occur.

“Government has a critical role to play in ensuring that communities are not left behind. To ensure public support for the energy market transition we need strong engagement and cooperation across all levels of government, in industry and in the communities themselves.

“There is an important role government and this new authority can play in helping investors and companies realise new net zero opportunities in regions where existing industries are transforming to lower carbon technologies.

“A national body can play an important coordinating role. But it will be important to avoid duplication and to harness the work underway on power plant sites, and in regional and state governments.

“Our members are on the frontline of the shift away from coal-fired generation and are acutely aware of the challenges at a local level. We know that each community will be impacted differently. Energy companies plan years in advance to enable their plants to close in a way that supports both their workforces and the local community.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement of a National Net Zero Authority and look forward to working with it, other levels of government and stakeholders to help regional Australia and industries proactively manage this economic transformation.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Australian Energy Council is the peak industry body for electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. AEC members generate and sell energy to 10 million homes and businesses and are major investors in renewable energy generation. The AEC supports reaching net-zero by 2050 as well as a 55 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035 and is committed to delivering the energy transition for the benefit of consumers.

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