Following the release of the Climate Change Authority’s Special Review, which proposed a ‘toolkit’ of measures to meet Australia’s emissions target – but made few detailed recommendations – in this White Paper, we examine Australia’s abatement task through to 2030 and the policy settings needed to meet Australia’s emissions target.
- As state and federal policymakers begin to explore policy development, we present the RepuTex 2030 Energy & Climate Policy (ECP) Tool, an interactive web tool enabling users to build a customised policy pathway to meet Australia’s 2030 target.
- The ECP Tool is available in four versions, including a free edition for public use and three subscriber versions. We apply the ECP Tool for illustrative purposes below.
- Accounting for updated economic assumptions and state and federal policy, including new state RETs in ACT, SA, QLD and VIC, we estimate an Australian greenhouse gas abatement task of approximately 1 billion tonnes of CO2-e (2020-30), a 55% downgrade on government estimates (2,215 Mt).
- National emissions will need to be reduced by 8 to 9 million tonnes of CO2-e (Mt) annually to meet Australia’s 26 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030.
- Should industry be relied upon to deliver emissions reductions of this scale under the safeguard mechanism, we estimate an absolute baseline contraction of 5.4 per cent per annum after 2020, relative to current baselines, to meet the 2030 target.
- In such a scenario, the largest emissions reduction contribution would fall on ‘growth sectors’ such as Aviation and Gas Extraction and Processing, with large coal-fired generators likely to avoid compliance obligations due falling electricity consumption.
- For this reason a declining emissions intensity baseline (tCO2e/physical output) may be supported, allowing for emissions reductions via the improvement of the net intensity on a linear or convergence basis (i.e. to a variable point of best practice). In such an instance, the required rate of baseline decline is likely to be steeper, with a linear emissions intensity decline of approximately 6.8 per cent required to meet Australia’s 2030 abatement task.
- Excluding safeguard sectors, aggressive policy settings would be required to meet Australia’s 2030 target, such as the tripling of ERF funding and generation from Solar PV, while electricity and vehicle efficiency would need to double from current levels.
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