Glenn Lazarus Team Climate Policy Credibility Assessment | Election 2016

Glenn Lazarus Team

 

Recent actions undertaken by Senator Glenn Lazarus in Parliament
Glenn Lazarus voted to repeal the carbon pricing mechanism but has supported the CEFC, ARENA and CCA. The Senator supported the establishment of the Emissions Reduction Fund. Lazarus voted against cutting the Renewable Energy Target. Supported the Senate Inquiry into Carbon Risk Disclosure.

 

Global warming implied by the GLT
1.5-2°C – the GLT supports emission reduction targets of 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020; 45-65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025; 65-85 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030; and zero net climate pollution by 2040-2050. If other countries match the GLT’s emission reduction targets, global warming would be limited to 1.5-2°C.


Per person emissions implied by GLT policies
6.8 tonnes per year – the GLT’s 2030 target would place Australia 8th amongst G20 nations in 2030. See Figure 2 above. 

 

Key features of the GLT’s policy and relevant commitments include (TCI analysis in italics):

Objective 1: Limit emissions for warming of 1.5-2°C

  1. Emission reduction targets are: 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020; 45-65 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025; 65-85 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030; and zero net emissions by 2040-2050. Strong targets consistent with the Paris Agreement objectives.

  2. Support long-term market and/or regulatory mechanisms that are effective, durable, scalable and able to achieve the goal of reducing Australia’s climate pollution to net zero by 2050 at the latest. Strong goal, recognises need for range of mechanisms.

  3. Keep and adequately fund the Climate Change Authority. Welcome commitment, would be stronger if GLT supported strengthening the CCA’s role to include ongoing carbon budgeting and auditing of progress.

Objective 2. Grow a net zero emissions economy and modernise energy

  1. Phased closure of Australia’s coal-fired power stations which includes a target for retirement by 2020[4], and full retirement of all other coal-burning power stations before 2035, alongside an adjustment package to assist workers and communities impacted by the closure of coal-fired power stations. Welcome recognition of need to manage the exit of all existing coal stations by 2035.

  2. Expansion of the Renewable Energy Target and use of capacity auctions to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 per cent renewable energy before 2050; Ambitious renewable targets that recognise urgency of energy sector decarbonisation.

  3. Double Australia’s energy productivity by 2030 and implement vehicle fuel efficiency standards that become increasingly stringent over time and drive an accelerated rollout of electric vehicles. Welcome commitments recognising the need and opportunity to boost energy productivity and decarbonise transport.

  4. 2017 review and reform of the national electricity market rules and institutions to align with clean energy objectives. Welcome commitment that recognises that timely evolution of the electricity market is necessary for a successful clean energy transformation.

Objective 3: Mainstream climate risk and opportunity assessment

  1. National water management strategy overseen by a new national entity and expansion of Productivity Commission mandate to cover environmental issues. Piecemeal recognition of the need to assess and manage some climate risks but lacks attention to whole-of-economy climate risks and opportunities.
Policy positives
  • Strong emission reduction targets.

  • Plan to phase out coal fired power stations with just transition focus.

  • Strong policy support for renewable energy and energy productivity improvements.

  • Support for independent Climate Change Authority.

Policy weaknesses

  •  Apart from water impacts, lacks focus on building greater climate risk resilience.

 

Summary of GLT's climate policy position 
Continuing a significant policy development since election in 2013, the GLT has adopted an ambitious approach to emission reduction that includes support for market and regulatory mechanisms. While GLT’s water policy recommendations do look at future implications, there is little integration of climate risk assessment or extension to central agencies. For these reasons GLT policy is described as: ambitious, lacking integrated focus on climate risks.

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