Incorporating an emissions reduction objective into the national energy objectives

AGL Energy welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the proposed legislative package to give effect to an emissions reduction objective in the National Electricity Law, the National Gas Law, and the National Energy Retail Law.

AGL is supportive of the commitment taken by energy ministers to align emissions reduction and energy policy objectives—for several years, climate and energy policy in Australia has been poorly integrated, and steps to align Australia’s climate ambition with policy action in the energy sector are well overdue.

However, in addition to simply amending the energy objectives, alignment of energy and climate policy in Australia would be best achieved by energy ministers continuing to work together to develop clear, coordinated, and nationally consistent policy approaches to reducing emissions in the energy sector, with a long-term objective of reaching Australia’s net-zero ambition.

While the recent steps taken by the energy ministers to reach alignment on certain energy issues are welcome, there remain very significant differences in policy approaches across Australia, including with regard to different renewable targets and generation investment programs.

This current patchwork of Australian energy and climate policies, especially state policies that are not necessarily subject to the national energy objectives, may continue to create significant challenges for the market bodies, resulting in a challenging operating environment for market participants and investors, and sub-optimal outcomes for energy customers.

A copy of AGL’s submission to the consultation paper is available here.