The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Australian Government’s National Energy Guarantee Draft Detailed Design for Consultation Commonwealth Elements document.
The MCA wants the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to work. The reason is simple - reliable and affordable energy is central to our economy and to the mining sector.
The minerals industry agrees that sustained global action is required to reduce the risks of human induced climate change.
The MCA supports Australia’s Paris Climate Change Commitments of a 26-28 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2030.
These commitments should be acknowledged as representing one of the largest reductions in per capita emissions among G-20 nations.
Australia has outperformed most developed and major developing nations in constraining the growth of CO2 emission over the past 25 years. And unlike a number of developed countries, Australia has consistently met its international climate change obligations.
Flexibility is needed in designing policies to reduce emissions. Australia’s 2030 emissions abatement challenge will change. The most recent emissions projections saw a decrease in Australia’s projected 2030 emissions, leading to a reduction of the abatement challenge of between 11.6-12.3 per cent in one year.
Mining is responsible for about 11.5 per cent of electricity demand in Australia. Policy measures must deliver reliable and affordable energy at least cost while putting Australia on a pathway to meeting its emissions reduction targets.
In this context, the MCA has called for a national coordinated approach to climate and energy policy which recognises the energy and resource intensive nature of the Australian economy.
All sectors of the economy have a role to play in meeting the challenge of Australia’s emissions reductions targets. Importantly, a least cost approach to abatement should include access to international offsets.
The National Electricity Market (NEM) in Australia is facing serious challenges including the erosion of baseload generation capacity which is already adversely impacting Australia’s industrial sector and households. It is critical the NEG address this issue.
The MCA believes a technology neutral approach should be adopted for all low emissions energy sources where no one technology is favoured to the exclusion of others.
Any policy approach should aim to reduce energy costs in Australia and retain a focus on securing reliable lowest cost dispatchable energy supply that is available 24/7, while meeting emissions reduction targets.
It is in this context the MCA is providing comments on the Commonwealth’s Elements of the National Energy Guarantee Draft Design.