Carbon Market Institute

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Melbourne, Australia
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Climate Lobbying Overview: The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) appears supportive of drastic action on climate change, supporting a range of specific climate-related regulations whilst generally emphasizing the need for increased ambition in Australia’s climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: CMI appears strongly supportive of ambitious climate action in its top line messaging. Since 2017, CMI has consistently supported the target of net-zero emissions by 2050; in CMI’s strategy paper “Transition to zero” from June 2021 it supported “a climate-resilient, net-zero emissions world” by 2050. In an August 2021 press release, CMI called for Australia to legislate a net-zero by 2050 target, and to implement a more ambitious 2030 NDC in line with 1.5°C.

Similarly, in a strategy paper from 2019, CMI supported the ratcheting of Australia's commitments under the Paris Agreement as well as appearing to oppose the use of Kyoto carry-over credits to achieve these targets, which would have weakened the overall level of ambition. CEO John Connor appears to have supported a significant increase in the ambition of Australian climate policy, stating in February 2021, there is “no question Australia is falling behind on climate action”. Similarly, in a March 2022 press release, Connor advocated for policymakers to show “greater urgency and ambition” in implementing climate change policy. In a consultation response from June 2020, CMI clearly stated that it favors market-based policy mechanisms to address climate change, but also recognized the need for a "broader policy toolkit".

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The Carbon Market Institute appears broadly positive in its engagement with climate-related regulations. In separate August 2021 press releases, CMI advocated to transition the Safeguard Mechanism into a baselines and credit scheme "at least" in line with Australia's federal targets and called for more ambitious emissions baselines under the Safeguard Mechanism. Similarly, in a March 2022 press release, CEO John Connor supported a declining emissions baseline set by Australia’s federal Safeguard Mechanism. In its May 2022 post-election briefing, the organization also supported the reform of the Safeguard Mechanism by the new Labor government, including a declining baseline, inclusion of emitters over 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, and tightening the coverage rules for the electricity sector. CMI appears to have also supported Australia adopting more ambitious 2030 GHG targets, both in a June 2021 strategy paper and August 2021 press release, and supported Australian vehicle emissions standards and clean vehicle subsidies in its May 2022 post-election briefing.

Additionally, in its May 2022 post-election briefing, Carbon Market Institute supported the reform of Australia’s National Energy Productivity Plan which including provisions for increasing energy efficiency across the energy sector. In a policy statement from March 2019, CMI appeared to support the trading of international carbon credits in meeting domestic emissions targets, which could reduce the ambition of domestic emissions reductions. CMI also appears to have supported greater ambition in the National Energy Guarantee in a consultation response from March 2018 and in state level GHG targets in Victoria in a consultation response from July 2019.

Positioning on Energy Transition: The Carbon Market Institute appears to broadly support the transition to a lower carbon energy mix. In a consultation response from October 2019, CMI appeared to support electrification of transport and hydrogen-driven electrification for industry. In a tweet from January 2021, CMI appeared to support a reduced role for natural gas in the energy mix and in March 2021 appeared to reiterate support for the transition from coal to renewables with battery storage. However, in a response to the King Review in July 2020 CMI appeared to support an extension of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s mandate to include support for non-renewable technologies.

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