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 Lobbying Overview: The Energy Users' Association of Australia (EUAA) appears to show mixed and limited support for action on climate change.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In 2020, the EUAA co-signed a statement calling for measures to reduce emissions and accelerate a successful energy transition, while it has also accepted the need to reduce emissions to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C through a 2016 submission. This was reaffirmed in October 2021 when the group's CEO Andrew Richards stated its support for the Federal government's Emissions Reduction Plan, which includes the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. However, in its 2020 key policy positions, the EUAA argues the location of carbon mitigation is irrelevant due to climate change's nature as a global problem, suggesting the association does not support drastic domestic action to reduce GHG emissions. As of July 2020, it stated that their preferred mechanism for reducing emissions is through a market-based national carbon pricing scheme. Additionally, through a 2019 submission, the EUAA appears to not support state-level policy on the issue.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The EUAA’s engagement with climate-related regulations appears to be mixed. In 2018, the organization supported the National Energy Guarantee, however, as part of this, EUAA called for exemptions for EITE industries under the Emissions Guarantee. In a 2019 submission to the Energy Security Board, EUAA appeared to support the 'now defunct emissions trading scheme' over subsequent climate change policies. The organization appears to show mixed support for energy efficiency standards, praising the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act, and in 2020 the organization has called for greater investment into energy efficiency following COVID-19. However, in 2020, EUAA argued for multiple exemptions from the NSW Energy Security Safeguard.
Positioning on Energy Transition:The EUAA’s position regarding the transition of the energy mix appears to be mostly negative, but with some recent positions appearing to be more positive. Through its corporate website, it supported for the Clean Energy Target in 2017 and also supported the development of a pumped hydropower station in 2019. However, it's position on the energy mix appears to be largely driven by its interest in expanding gas supply. Specifically, it has advocated for measures to increase domestic gas supply in a 2019 submission and in 2020 through its corporate website. Additionally, in 2020 the EUAA CEO Andrew Richards stated the association's support for the Morrison government's gas-fired recovery plan after the Covid-19 pandemic, and similarly in a 2021 submission to the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap, the association advocated for the continued use of natural gas, highlighting concerns over the cost of electrification and opposing the early retirement of gas-fired power stations. However, in October 2021, Richards appeared to advocate for new infrastructure for renewable projects to aid the energy transition, and also called for development of green hydrogen to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors.