Energy Networks Australia (ENA) has called for Australian governments to reach a national accord on carbon policy, claiming an overwhelming consensus of stakeholders supported a market-based policy.
ENA CEO, John Bradley, said Australian governments were receiving a groundswell of support to reach pragmatic agreement on market-based carbon policies which are technology neutral.
Mr Bradley said, “The energy industry, unions, social welfare bodies, environmental advocates and most importantly, customers are ready to work with governments to resolve the impasse.
“Governments don’t have to choose between secure, affordable energy and achieving Australia’s carbon-abatement goals.
“The national interest requires bipartisanship on energy and carbon policy in the same way political parties approach defence and foreign policy.”
Mr Bradley said the energy industry and major energy customers including Australian farmers faced significant exposure to climate change.
“There is support for pragmatic, evidence-based policy which meets carbon abatement targets without undermining energy security or affordability,” Mr Bradley said.
“Analysis by Energy Networks Australia and CSIRO found that technology neutral carbon policy, like an Emission Intensity Scheme, would provide least cost abatement and could save customers over $200 per year by 2030.
“There are other market-based options which remain technology neutral and we look forward to working constructively with governments to achieve a clear path forward.”
Mr Bradley said that after the confusion of the last decade, the most urgent requirement for Australian carbon policy was stability to avoid higher costs or less reliable supply for customers.
“It’s important for the entire community that Australia achieves a stable, enduring carbon policy which minimises unnecessary risk for investors in energy infrastructure, including long life grid assets, innovative new technologies and distributed energy resources.”