The Australia Institute barracks for ideas, not for parties. Our engagement with the Senate crossbench between 2014 and 2016 ensured the survival of key climate policies and institutions that the government tried to abolish. Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Renewable Energy Target were saved by crossbench Senators who were persuaded by research showing the case for these climate policies and vote to block Government repeal legislation.
This resulted in support for $23 billion of clean energy projects during a period that saw renewable energy investment decline by around 50% due to policy uncertainty under the Abbott Government. Maintaining these policies and agencies ensured Australia’s energy industry could bounce back in following years, a resurgence that is now lauded by the Coalition Government as driving emissions reductions.