The Australian Energy Council, the peak body for Australia’s electricity generators and retailers, is today announcing support for an economy-wide emissions reduction target of 55% on 2005 levels by 2035.
AEC Chief Executive Sarah McNamara said the figure represents an ambitious and realistic interim target to get Australia to net zero emissions by 2050.
“2030 is only eight years away. Decarbonising the economy is the twenty-first century’s great challenge, but it won’t happen instantly. We think 2035, half-way to 2050, represents a sensible and realistic timeframe for a 55% economy-wide reduction.
“No sector has done more to reduce its emissions than the electricity sector, and we’ll continue to do so because it is the right thing to do for business, the economy and the environment,” said Ms McNamara.
“We are confident the economy can meet this 2035 target and we are keen to help other sectors to engage in the energy transition, but the time to act is now.”
The AEC is also calling for more focus on coordinated planning for an orderly exit from coal and maintaining Australia’s energy security.
“Australians want action on climate change as well as affordable, reliable energy. An interim target is an important signal of the need to reduce carbon emissions across the economy.
“The electricity sector’s emissions will reduce by 55% from 2005 levels by 2030, according to government forecasts.
“Electricity can make a significant contribution to displacing much of Australia’s high carbon natural gas and liquid fuels.” said Ms McNamara.
“Outside electricity, most sectors are yet to begin their journey to net zero. A 2035 target provides a realistic opportunity for transport, agriculture and stationary energy (buildings and factories) to leverage existing low carbon technologies and follow electricity’s performance,” said Ms McNamara.
About the Australian Energy Council
The Council represents 20 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate most of the electricity in Australia, sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses, and are major investors in renewable energy generation.