The Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton has issued a statement to all CEC members regarding the position of the CEC on the NEG:

The CEC does not support the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in its current form. However, we do support more work being done on the details of the NEG, noting that a final decision will come in August ahead of the next COAG Energy Council meeting. By that time, we should have a better understanding of the complete detailed design of the policy, and we expect that our remaining concerns – such as the current low emissions target – will have been suitably addressed.

We certainly do not support the government’s current emissions target of just 26% or the inclusion of offsets. We believe that the energy sector can and should have a materially higher target, and that it is critical for the NEG to drive new investment in clean energy. In any case, the policy will need to ensure that a future government can easily and quickly increase the ambition of the emissions target.

There is a lot of hysterics about the NEG at the moment, so it’s important to focus on the facts. The current proposal for the NEG doesn’t lock in the government’s low emissions target for 10 years, and there is nothing in the current design stopping a future government from ramping up the ambition quickly and swiftly.

Indeed, the Federal ALP has made it very clear that is exactly what they will do if and when they are elected to government. There is also nothing stopping the states and territories from continuing to have their own renewable energy schemes.

The Energy Security Board (ESB) adopted many of the CEC’s recommendations on the details of the NEG, which has materially improved the overall policy architecture. However, the devil remains in the detail, and the CEC Policy & Advocacy committee is meeting with the Deputy Chair of the ESB this week to keep exploring and refining the intricacies of the policy.

We will continue to encourage the ESB to refine the design and push the government to address the remaining major policy issues before we make any final decision on whether to support or oppose the NEG in August.

  • Please note this statement was issued to all CEC members via the CEC newsletter. Its intend and purpose is for members of the CEC.