We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Policy Engagement Overview:The Clean Energy Council appears to be highly engaged and supportive of action on climate, and has stated strong support for a number of climate policies as well as supporting the energy transition.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Clean Energy Council's top-line messaging on climate policy is positive. Its position on climate change is consistent with the IPCC's recommendation for net-zero emissions by 2050, and it has consistently advocated a comprehensive policy framework at the federal and state level. This includes supporting Zali Stegall's Climate Change Bill in 2020, which legislates a net-zero by 2050 emissions reduction target for Australia.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The Clean Energy Council appears to have lobbied positively on renewable energy policies. In 2020, in its position paper on a clean recovery following COVID-19, Clean Energy Council advocated extending the government's write-off for the cost of solar, battery and smart meter installation. It has similarly opposed the abolition of the Small-scale Renewable Energy scheme in 2020, and suggested mandating solar and batteries in new homes through reforming the National Construction Code. In 2018, Clean Energy Council supported the Labor government's proposed renewable energy target of 50% by 2030 and supported the development of Renewable Energy Zones. The Clean Energy Council has also been supportive of government attempts to implement policy to reduce emissions. The Clean Energy Council directly lobbied policymakers to support the Clean Energy Target in 2017. In 2018, the organization also supported the National Energy Guarantee and advocated the policy's emissions reduction target should be aligned with net-zero before 2050 for the energy sector. In its 2021 Clean Energy Australia Report, the association also appears to support the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) while opposing the decision to expand the agencies remit to include CCS and gas projects.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The Clean Energy Council appears strongly supportive of a transition in the energy mix. In 2020, it encouraged a shift away from fossil fuels and also supported an increased role for low-emission technologies such as wind, solar and green hydrogen as part of Australia's Technology Investment Roadmap. In 2019, the organization advocated for the government to support the development of Australia's electricity distribution network to incorporate greater levels of renewable energy and in 2020, supported the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, designed to better incorporate rooftop solar and batteries into the energy mix. Additionally, Clean Energy Council supports the 5-minute settlement rule, which will encourage the uptake of batteries. In the run-up to the Queensland state election in October 2020, it called for all parties to support an ambitious energy storage target to facilitate the transition of the energy mix to renewables.
In May 2020, the Clean Energy Council did appear to support the government's plan to use gas and coal-fired power in the medium term, however, this appears inconsistent with the rest of the organization's lobbying activities. Ahead of the state election in Queensland in October 2020, the Clean Energy Council called for no government funding to be given for new coal-fired power stations & called for all parties to establish a strong 2030 Energy Storage Target "to deliver firm clean power 24/7". In 2021, the council responded to Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap and advocated for the phase out of natural gas in the energy mix and for the ramp up of renewables, adding a preference for full electrification in the long-term while using renewable hydrogen for hard-to-abate sectors. The Clean Energy Council also broadly supported the Guarantee of Origin Scheme for Hydrogen and advocating that the 2.5-5% materiality threshold should be removed, which would allow for some unabated emissions in the hydrogen production process from fossil fuels. In April 2021, the Council also advocated policymakers to not support a tax on EV’s in the state of Victoria.