May 2023.

The Climate Change Bill in Australia

Australia’s Climate Change Bill is a significant milestone in the country’s fight against global warming, setting targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 43% by 2030. Such achievement is a step forward, providing greater stability and investor confidence to the renewable energy sector, as the bill includes provisions for an independent Climate Change Authority to provide science-based policy advice, ensuring guidelines are formed on evidence-based data and not assumptions. This is a crucial development, as policymakers increasingly rely on scientific expertise when developing strategies.

The ZEN team volunteering at The Forktree Project in South Australia, contributing positively to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We can all do our part as a community, but we also need bold actions from the government.

Changes to the Safeguard Mechanism is another win for renewables.

In addition to the Climate Change Bill, the Australian Government has also made changes to the Safeguard Mechanism. The mechanism is part of a federal policy framework and aims to reduce emissions from large industrial facilities, which include:

  • New emissions reduction baselines
  • Increased transparency and reporting requirements;
  • and greater flexibility for businesses to meet their obligations.

These requirements are helpful for driving investment in clean energy technologies, as companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint and meet their obligations under the Safeguard Mechanism.

Looking forward, the renewable energy sector in Australia has significant opportunities to invest in new technologies and infrastructure that support sustainable growth.

Is this enough to achieve the targets?

This is a step forward, but there is still – a lot – of work to be done.

Experts recommend a higher target that would be more in line with what climate science suggests, though the door has been left open for the targets to be adjusted in future.

The sector needs greater policy support to continue this momentum. Generating renewable energy is part of the solution, but it is not enough, as it has to go side-by-side with investing in infrastructure, network transmission, and facilitating financial incentives, such as tax credits and subsidies.

Additionally, as we mentioned before in our White paper from the Sustainability Leaders Summit and LinkdedIn posts,  expanding the current Renewable Energy Targets (RET) scheme past its current 2030 completion would be an important step to securing the levels of private investment required to complement the publicly funded investment.

Our part as a renewable energy business

ZEN has been vocal (and taking the steps) about accelerating the transformation to renewables.

According to the “Superpower Transformation” book by Professor Ross Garnaut, ZEN Energy Director, Australia has enough natural resources to become an economic superpower of the post-carbon world, with battery storage being a solid ally for clean electricity produced from renewable energy assets such as wind and solar farms, where we source our energy from.

ZEN also became the first 1.5 degrees electricity retailer, in line with the Science Based Targets initiative targets, one of the core strategies of our inaugural ESG Report, where we committed to reducing our scope 1 and 2 emissions down to zero by the end of 2023 and also voluntarily reducing our scope 3 emissions in line with the Paris targets. This means convincing some of our largest customers to switch to 100% renewable prior to 2030.

With the right policies in place, the renewable energy sector can play a significant role in creating a more sustainable, low-carbon future and turn Australia into a superpower in the zero-carbon world.