Dominoes fall toward net zero Australia & NESS raises her head, 11 Oct 2021
A 180-degree pivot from the Business Council of Australia (BCA) with its report released on 9 October supporting a net zero emissions target along with detailed commitments from its members as to how they will contribute, plus supportive coverage from previously lukewarm mainstream media, is the best climate action news yet in the leadup to COP26 in two weeks.
“The dominoes are falling and momentum is unstoppable as we wait for the Federal Government to declare a hot, warm or cool response to what Australian businesses and households need to help allay a 1.5 degree Celsius increase,” said President of the Energy Savings Industry Association, Mr Rod Woolley.
The BCA report has removed major roadblocks for a net zero commitment from the Australian Government to take to Glasgow. With farmers supporting net zero, the Nationals are now becoming an island group protecting MPs with jurisdictions that have coal interests that are magnets for international tariffs soon to be imposed on high emissions nations.
“This is a strong palate cleanser for the coalition - naysayers must drop the rhetoric and launch robust mechanisms to deliver more national emissions reductions sooner.”
This includes, as acknowledged by the BCA and modelled by numerous independent advisory groups including the government’s own Climate Change Authority, a national energy savings scheme (NESS) as a low-cost transition pathway mechanism.
“While the BCA recommends a NESS for vulnerable households, the ESIA continues to advocate for a NESS that would include businesses and households. It would operate off the back of the highly successful schemes in Victoria, NSW, SA and the ACT some operating since 2009 and some recently extended to 2050 to align with state-based net zero by 2050 targets.
“A NESS will deliver emissions reductions sooner by providing financial incentives to households, large and small businesses and community services like hospitals and schools, when they install more energy efficient appliances, energy management systems and heating, ventilation and air conditioning, hot water heat pumps, fuel switching and industrial applications like boilers,” said Mr Woolley.
Additional energy efficiency mechanisms the federal government could commit to, supported by the CAA, BCA, ESIA and other peak bodies, include strengthening the Safeguard Mechanism and the Climate Solutions Fund. The Government could deliver on its own King review recommendations including to improve the Emissions Reduction Fund methods that would support broader energy efficiency improvements.
Media contact: Jessica Lynch, M 0417 539 377, firstname.lastname@example.org
(ESIA Media release PDF)