As the 2022 Federal Election looms, renewable energy and climate change policy has been, to a degree, on the back-burner for major political parties. Given the ongoing economic impacts of post-pandemic supply chain issues and international geopolitical conflicts, the recent Federal Budget and much of the current election campaigning are focused mostly on policies to address the cost of living pressures, wages growth, and improving job security.
In the background, however, climate change protests have occurred both domestically and internationally in recent weeks, suggesting that a portion of the electorate may be keeping a close eye on how political parties are approaching energy and climate change-related issues including Net Zero policies and targets, energy security, and energy affordability among other issues.
Energy and Climate Change Policies Leading Up to Federal Election 2022
Amidst all the politicking and ‘noise’ leading up to the Federal Election on 21 May 2022, we’ve done our best to summarise the major and emerging political parties’ respective policies on climate change and support Australia’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050.
Liberal Nationals (“Coalition”)
“Technology not taxes” is the core of the Liberal National Coalition’s campaign, which aims to address reducing emissions. Based on the Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan and the Technology Investment Roadmap, the Coalition plans to roll out low-carbon technologies to support businesses exporting minerals and energy, and energy-providing service providers.
In the recent Budget, the Liberal Nationals made further investments in microgrids to support regional and remote communities with small-scale renewable energy projects like solar and batteries. This decade, the Government plans to invest more than $22 billion in low emissions technologies, driving over $88 billion of total investment to reduce emissions while growing the economy and creating jobs across Australia.
See Liberal Nationals' plan to Protect the Environment
Tim Wilson MP, Assistant Minister to the Minister of Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, shared why it is important to build partnerships with industrial producers. “Partnerships drive down emissions, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to decarbonisation. Sector-specific approaches are the best solutions,” he said. Wilson also believes that disseminating information about the benefits of energy efficiency is an essential driver to combat climate change and convincing businesses to embrace renewables.
The Coalition has also announced they will extend tax incentives until June 2023; tax breaks that will help Australian businesses fund their smart energy management and energy efficiency projects.
Australian Labour Party
The Australian Labour Party is focused on reducing emissions by boosting renewable energy. Their platform is to help the business sector reduce their power bills and create more jobs in the sustainable energy sector. Part of their “Power Australia” plan includes supporting companies switching to electric vehicles (EV) and adopting the Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) Safeguard Mechanism.
Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, believes that the “biggest economic change since the industrial revolution is transitioning to renewable energy.” Bowen believes that Australians deserve a concrete plan to secure their future. Through new technologies, cheaper energy can be realised, and new job opportunities will help transition to a low-carbon future.
Anthony Albanese, ALP’s Party Leader said, “Australia’s emissions mitigation goals are necessary to provide a credible basis for action and investment, and to maintain the country’s competitiveness amidst a growing global transition.”
See Labour's Plan to Protect the Environment
Armed with their “Fight for the Future” plans, the Australian Greens revealed their policy proposals regarding transitioning to renewable energy resources, and reducing emissions and replacing coal and gas with 100% renewables. Driven by investments in energy storage, generation, and development of a sustainable grid, they call for the “Majority of Australia’s energy needs to be produced through renewable resources and export excess electricity.”
“We will tax the billionaires & big corporations, and provide the things we all need for a better life” is the central theme of all of their policies.
The Greens aim to hit their net zero emission target by 2035 (15 years earlier than the national Net Zero 2050 goal) and plan to shift federal support to 100% renewable energy resources. To encourage companies and business organisations to embrace a decarbonised economy, they are advocating for investment in energy efficiency technologies and smart energy management. This will help businesses reduce costs tied to energy operations.
See The Greens' plan to tackle the Climate Crisis
The Australian Greens’ Spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, believes, “We need big solutions to combat climate change and transform the country – the Parliament.” Energy efficiency plays a crucial role in tackling the climate crisis and the perfect opportunity is now. Policies on energy should consider investing in renewables to support workers as the industry transitions toward a Net Zero future.
United Australia Party
A small but vocal political party over recent years, United Australia Party (UAP) doesn’t officially have specific policies relating to Net Zero or sustainability in general. They are, however, pushing for research into new nuclear technology to help solve Australia’s energy problems.
According to the UAP website, “Australia has the world’s largest deposits of uranium, however, while we export uranium to other nations for them to take advantage of, we ban its use in Australia for electricity generation…China, Europe, and the United States all benefit from nuclear power. Australia should benefit from our own resources and Australian industries should be benefitting from cheap power so they can compete internationally…”
Recommended Read: - Policy update - Federal Election Special - Get to Know All Sustainability Terms and Understand the Key Differences Between Net Zero, Carbon Neutral, Carbon Negative, and Carbon Footprint.
Ecosave’s Unwavering Commitment to Sustainability
Irrespective of which party is successful at this federal election, Ecosave will continue its journey to become a Net Zero organisation by 2024 and commits to decarbonising across its operations as we believe it’s the righ thing to do. Our objective is to minimise our daily operations and client services’ impact on the environment.
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