What is the Independent Expert Panel's role?
Victoria's Climate Change Act legislated a long-term emissions reduction target for Victoria of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Act requires the Premier and Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to set five yearly interim targets to keep Victoria on track to meet its long-term target, the first being for the period 2021 to 2025.
The Act also requires the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to obtain advice from one or more independent experts for the purpose of setting interim emissions reduction targets. The Independent Expert Panel was established in October 2017 to report back to government by June 2018.
The Independent Expert Panel has engaged in a range of consultations with stakeholders, including AGL Energy, and in March 2018 released an issues paper for comment.
What are AGL's views?
AGL supports in principle Victoria’s setting of interim emissions reduction targets. AGL accepts the science on climate change and has given serious consideration to the transitional risks and opportunities associated with the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Nevertheless we consider that the trajectory of any State-based emissions targets impacting upon the energy sector need to be appropriately coordinated with the National Electricity Market (NEM) participant States.
Should the Victorian Government look to set interim targets at a level of ambition that exceeds the Commonwealth’s current goal, we would urge careful consideration of the kinds of policy mechanisms that may be required and their interaction with current and proposed national policy settings.
AGL is supportive of the use of an emissions budget as a tool for the Panel’s analysis and agrees with the merits of using a carbon budget.
We would also urge the Victoria Government to tailor the trajectory of its interim emissions reduction targets to Victoria’s particular economic and social circumstances, to ensure the State’s ongoing energy security and continued economic prosperity.
We believe there are substantial opportunities to address emissions reduction in the energy sector through the development and deployment of low-emissions technologies and business models both at the industry scale, and through distributed energy resources (DER) at the customer end. Through electrification we also anticipate substantial opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria’s transport sector, whilst improving the efficient use of infrastructure and delivering value for Australian homes and businesses.
We ellaborate these views in our submission to the Independent Expert Panel, a copy of which is available here