Bipartisanship on climate framework a prize well worth pursuing

“Industry hopes that today’s olive branch from the Federal Opposition after more than a decade of political squabbling can be the start of serious policy discussions towards longer-term certainty on energy and emissions policy,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

“Without policy stability that extends beyond the three-year political cycle, it will be impossible to get the investment in energy and emissions reduction that should underpin our economic rebuild.

“Industry knows that it needs to play a key part in getting Australia to net zero emissions by 2050. But it has been persistently unclear what policy framework will underpin the necessary investments in low, zero and negative emissions technologies.

“Settled bipartisan policy is the gold standard for long-term investment, as we’ve seen with the RET. As we and many other national peak bodies have stated, to attract and sustain investment over the long term, the underlying climate policy framework should be stable, offer predictable processes for important decisions and enjoy broad political support. One of our principles is that policy should recognise the strategic importance of reducing emissions from the energy sector in achieving the overall goal. It should provide a credible basis for planning and investment by the energy sector and energy consumers, maintain energy security and avoid sovereign risk.

“Serious conversations between the Government and the Opposition on how to deliver this would be very welcome.

“With respect to the future of ARENA and CEFC, broader mandates to support clean technologies of all sorts across all sectors make sense, as long as they are paired with commensurate resources, continued strong governance and a clear guiding vision. The Opposition should reconsider its position on excluding carbon capture, utilization and storage from these bodies. CCUS is an important option for industrial emissions reduction, and it makes sense to fund and prioritise it alongside other options like hydrogen rather than in isolation,” Mr Willox said.

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