EnergyAustralia

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
52%
Organisation Score
59%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Melbourne, Australia
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: EnergyAustralia appears broadly supportive of ambitious action on climate change in its top-line messaging, and has engaged in mixed but increasingly positive lobbying on climate regulation. However, the company appears less supportive of state-level climate policy and has also supported a sustained role for fossil fuels in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: EnergyAustralia’s top line messaging on climate change has been broadly positive. A series of 2021 posts on Twitter appeared to show the company being supportive of carbon neutrality by 2050. EnergyAustralia has consistently stated its preference for the implementation of a national climate and energy policy in Australia, at the expense of state-level legislation. Additionally, in EnergyAustralia’s 2021 Climate Statement, the company appeared to suggest support for market-based and technology-neutral climate policy. However, a submission on the NSW Energy Security Target in June 2020 acknowledged the importance of the leadership and policy direction provided by Australian state jurisdictions in the absence of bipartisan progress at national level.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: EnergyAustralia has actively engaged in mixed lobbying on renewable energy legislation in recent years. Prior to 2019, the company had clearly advocated against renewable energy legislation, in line with its desire for market-based and technology neutral climate policy, and had highlighted the potential impact of these policies on the market. However, in contrast to previous comments on the Renewable Energy Target (RET), in 2019 EnergyAustralia supported retaining RET for its full lifecycle, once again referencing the impact this would have on the market through policy stability and providing unambiguous investment signals.

Beyond renewable energy legislation, Energy Australia’s recent advocacy on climate policy has been generally positive. In 2019-2020, the company directly advocated to policymakers in Australia to support energy efficiency legislation at the federal level as well as state level schemes such as the NSW Energy Security Target. However, prior to this in 2018-19, EnergyAustralia appeared to state support for Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism, at the expense of the National Energy Guarantee, whilst also stating the need for additional flexibilities to be included such as the use of offsets, carry-over and deferral options, and emission limit exchanges between generators. Additionally, the company’s comments submitted on National Energy Guarantee Draft Design Consultation Paper in 2018 appeared to qualify support with significant exceptions that would weaken the policy, including exemptions for Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE) industries from the emission requirements. EnergyAustralia, also used its support for the National Energy Guarantee, with caveats, to oppose more ambitious state-level emissions targets.

Positioning on Energy Transition: EnergyAustralia appears broadly supportive of the need to transition the energy mix. In 2020, the company called on the Australian government to subsidize battery storage to accelerate the transition to renewables. However, EnergyAustralia consistently qualifies its support for the energy transition with the need to protect energy security, reliability and affordability. In 2019, EnergyAustralia emphasized the importance of fossil fuels including coal to the energy mix in both developing economies such as India and China, as well as developed economies such as Australia. In an August 2021 letter to policymakers, EnergyAustralia, alongside several other energy companies, stated support for government reform that would pay coal and gas generators to guarantee future capacity, with a likelihood to continue a role for coal in the energy mix. In a June 2021 consultation response, EnergyAustralia stated support for the maintenance of thermal coal supply and investment in Australia's energy mix through a physical Retailer Reliability Obligation (RRO), a mechanism that would effectively subsidize ageing gas and coal plants over concerns of reliability and affordability. Although, the company accepted the need to transition the energy mix away from carbon intensive sources towards renewables.

Industry Association Governance: In its 2020 Sustainability Report, EnergyAustralia discloses several industry association memberships, including limited details on the organization’s position on climate change and the company’s influence and engagement in the association. However, EnergyAustralia has not disclosed a full list of its industry association memberships, nor has it published a full audit disclosure. For example, the company does not disclose its membership to the Minerals Council of Australia, which has lobbied extensively against progressive climate policy in Australia.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
61%
 
61%
 
49%
 
49%
 
40%
 
40%
 
75%
 
75%
 
52%
 
52%
 
86%
 
86%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.