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The Morrison Government’s ‘technology not taxes’ approach to climate change policy is little more than new branding for an old strategy – a strategy pioneered by the Howard Government back in the 1990s. Rather than introduce a carbon price, mandatory energy efficiency standards or restrictions of fossil fuel consumption or extraction, the Howard Government pursued
Australia’s target of net zero emissions by 2050 is inconsistent with its plans to massively expand coal and gas production. New fossil fuel projects under development in Australia would result in 1.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year – equivalent annual emissions of over 200 coal-fired power stations, twice as much as global
While COP26 this November is focused on ratcheting up short-term ambition it must also finalise the ‘Paris Agreement rulebook’ including on carbon markets, climate finance and adaptation. The Australian Government will face growing pressure to not just increase its 2030 target but act in good faith on other key negotiating priorities like markets, finance and
The Morrison Government has released a ‘whole of economy plan’ to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While they are yet to reveal the underlying economic modelling on which the plan was based, it is still possible to consider the plausibility of the results of the modelling even when the assumptions behind the modelling remain
Far from being a national leader in electric vehicle uptake, South Australia is already lagging other States and Territories across the country. While it is true that South Australia is a significantly smaller state than New South Wales, it is also true that the $36.3m in funding that has been offered as part of the
All the net reduction in national emissions between 2005 and 2020 were contributed by the land sector. Emissions from energy combustion, which in 2020 accounted for 72% of total emissions, were 2.0% higher than in 2005. Total energy emissions to the end of August 2021, as estimated by NEEA, again increased, as growing consumption of
While it has been widely rumoured that the cost of securing National Party support for Scott Morrison’s commitment to net zero could be up to $20 billion in in budget spending for projects in National Party seats, the real cost of the deal is, according to an analysis of various recent climate change modelling done
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations. The Australia Institute is an independent public policy think tank, based in Canberra. We carry out research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues. Two recent research papers by
The draft offsets policy undermines the NT Government policy of adopting Fracking Inquiry Recommendation 9.8 – that all life-cycle emissions from onshore gas projects be offset. The draft policy also proposes ‘indirect emissions offsets’ that are not utilised in any other jurisdiction and would be entirely without integrity. Indirect offsets would undermine other offset markets
Climate of the Nation is the longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.
Like Australia, Germany has had a long and polarised debate about phasing out coal-fired power stations. Germany formed a multi-stakeholder group that negotiated a consensus to phase out coal power by 2038. A similar process could help Australia navigate the trade-offs inherent in such a change.
Despite a potential net zero by 2050 target announcement in coming weeks, it is increasingly clear that the Australian Government is not on track to meet such a target. Government policy shows no intention to reduce emissions, with fossil fuel project approvals even working to increase emissions. This briefing note outlines Government policies that are
The Avoided Deforestation Method is responsible for more than 20 per cent of total Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) that have been issued under the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. However, the method has significant integrity issues, and the ACCUs generated by avoided deforestation projects appear to represent non-additional abatement. This has implications for those
Australia’s decision to join with the United States and the United Kingdom to build Australian long-range nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) has little to do with the defence of Australia. The aim is to make possible an Australian contribution to US battle plans against China which that country will view as profoundly threatening with implications also for
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Winchester South coal mine environmental impact statement. Winchester South is a marginal project. The economic assessment, astonishingly, does not consider the impact of climate action on the coal market. Optimism bias and management incentives explain why mining approval is being sought despite the weak financial or economic
Welcome to the August 2021 issue of the NEEA Report, and apologies for the long delay since the last issue. Because it is nearly five months since our last issue, this new issue starts with an update in the NEEA estimate of changes in Australia’s total energy combustion emissions up to the end of June
In July 2021 The Australia Institute surveyed a representative sample of 599 South Australians. Respondents were asked which issue they considered to be the most important in state politics right now and a series of questions on a range of political issues. Results show that the three issues most likely to be deemed important by
Despite worsening climate crises and forecasts of declining coal markets, the NSW Government is proposing to release new areas for coal exploration. New mine proposals near Rylstone would impose significant costs on the local community and be unlikely to bring any economic benefit.
The Senate Economics References Committee is conducting an inquiry into Australia’s oil and gas reserves. The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a second submission to this inquiry highlighting recent research on Australia’s oil and gas that relate to the inquiry’s terms of reference published since the original submission. As such it should be
In July 2021 The Australia Institute surveyed a representative sample of 599 South Australians. Respondents were asked about electric vehicles (EVs), the government’s proposed Road User Charge (RUC) and potential purchase incentives. Results show that a strong majority of South Australians agree that EVs are good for the environment and support government efforts to increase the uptake of EVs but would be less likely to switch to an EV if the RUC is introduced.
The Australian Government claims that Australia is leading the world in achieving climate targets and transitioning to renewable energy. New analysis finds Australia’s energy emissions continue to rise, while productivity and decarbonisation rankings fall. Since 2005 Australia has maintained, if not slipped further behind, its OECD counterparts when it comes to the energy transition.
Unconventional gas in the Northern Territory is unpopular and uneconomic, risking water resources, the climate and taxpayer funds. It provides little revenue and very few jobs. Government-commissioned studies show this is unlikely to change under modelled production scenarios. The recommendations of the Territory’s fracking inquiry are not being met, particularly information programs for Aboriginal people
The Hume Coal Project is not economically viable and should be rejected. Despite recommending against approval, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment overstates the economic case for the project.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,007 Australians about their views on the health and ‘in danger’ listing of the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund will soon incorporate carbon capture and storage projects. The design and development of the CCS ERF method lacks integrity and independence. The proposed method will allow industry to sidestep regulation, enable new gas and oil projects to exist where they otherwise would not have, and result in more emissions being emitted
Tasmania’s coasts are in trouble: climate change, overfishing, impacts from aquaculture, land-based run-off and plastic are some of the pressures impacting Tasmania’s coasts. Developing and implementing a comprehensive and integrated State-wide Marine Plan for Tasmania’s coasts is the best way to ensure healthy marine ecosystems long-term.
All G7 members have sharpened their climate and trade policies to consider the use of carbon border adjustments. Australia should lean in rather than push back on the development of such a proposal while taking advantage of the opportunities in existing and new export industries.
The most urgent challenge facing the National Electricity Market (NEM) as it transitions to clean energy is not technological but regulatory; keeping coal power stations going for the minimum time required as new clean energy and system services supply is built. The Options Paper provides Australian governments with the missing pieces of this coal retirement