Australian news, and some related international items

Australian government watering down the climate recommendations of the Finkel energy report

Coalition watering down Finkel review climate ambitions, leaked document reveals
Draft implementation plan lacks electricity emissions trajectory, Paris agreement alignment and low-income subsidies,
Guardian, Michael Slezak 31 Aug 17The climate ambitions of the Finkel review appear to be being watered down by the government as it is implemented, according to a draft Coag Energy Council implementation strategy obtained by the Guardian.

The draft implementation plan removes a key recommendation for an agreed emissions trajectory for the electricity system, alignment with the Paris agreement and subsidised solar and batteries for low-income houses.

Sources tell the Guardian the document was prepared by the federal government and distributed to state and territory representatives on the morning of the meeting, leaving little time for state representatives to analyse it…..

At a teleconference on Friday last week, state and territory energy ministers were presented with a draft implementation plan for discussion.

That document, obtained by the Guardian, appears to water down those recommendations in relation to climate change, and removes some altogether.

One key recommendation in the Finkel review that has been severely weakened in the draft implementation document is a change that would force the electricity market to align efforts to meet government emissions reduction commitments made as part of the Paris agreement.

Finkel’s recommendation said Coag leaders should agree to a new Australian Energy Market Agreement, which commits all parties to “a nationally consistent approach to energy policy that recognises Australia’s commitment in Paris to reduce emissions and governments’ commitment to align efforts to meet this target with energy market frameworks.”

But the draft implementation document removes the reference to international emissions reduction commitments, instead saying merely that the agreement will “reaffirm Australian governments’ commitment to the [national electricity market] and a national, integrated approach to energy and emissions reduction policy”.

Among Finkel’s key recommendation for an “orderly transition”, he called for three things: the clean energy target; a three-year notice of closure for existing large generators; and “an agreed emissions reduction trajectory”. All three moves were part of one recommendation, numbered 3.2.

The Coalition has not agreed to adopt the clean energy target but it has agreed to the three-year notice-of-closure rule, which appears in the implementation plan. However, the plan does not contain any mention of an agreed emissions reduction trajectory…….

Another Finkel recommendation calls for low-income households to be given subsidised access to “energy efficient appliances, rooftop solar photovoltaic and battery storage systems”.

Explicit references to renewable energy has been removed in the draft implementation plan and replaced with “energy efficiency and demand management technologies”.

Sources say representatives of the ACT raised the question of the trajectory being removed, and asked for it to be included. Representatives of Queensland and Victoria also apparently raised concerns about some of the other changes.

Sources said the document, which was prepared by the federal government, was circulated to state energy ministers only hours before the meeting was held, leaving little time for proper scrutiny.

The document is expected to be finalised and sent to heads of government today.

September 1, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: