A study by researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) has found the existing Federal renewable energy target places Australia in the bottom five of OECD countries.
The research finds that the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will make things worse, putting Australia at risk of being unable to meet its international climate change obligations.
Researcher Dr James Prest of the ANU College of Law argues the NEG is not ambitious enough to keep up with the developed world.
“The replacement of an already weak and limited target with no target at all is an artificially limited ambition for renewable energy.”
“In terms of setting a renewable energy target for the future, we’re at the back of the pack,” Dr Prest said.
“By international comparison, Australia’s aim for renewable energy is clearly quite unambitious.
“Our review of Renewable Energy Targets in all OECD countries shows only five of the 34 OECD countries have a lower target than Australia, and some of these have already high levels of renewable electricity production.”
Those countries are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Canada, and the United States.
Dr Prest also argues the Government’s plan to set, and then lock in, limited climate targets leading up to 2030 will leave Australia at risk of not meeting with its procedural obligations to participate in regular reviews of climate ambition under the U.N. Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“This is because Australia’s decision to lock in Emission Reduction Requirements are inconsistent with our international obligation to review them in 2023”.
This is required to occur under the Paris Agreement’s 2023 Global Stocktake Mechanism, and then every five years after that – as the Agreement incorporates mechanisms to increase climate ambition over time.
“There is a real risk the new proposed domestic policy will not have the flexibility to take into account the timetable of the international climate ambition review process.”