The Climate Change Authority is proceeding with its statutory review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which must be completed by 31 December 2014.

The Authority conducted its first review of the RET in 2012. That report emphasised the role of the RET in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the need for a stable and predictable policy environment for investors. It concluded that no major changes were warranted to the overall scheme design, but suggested some minor operational changes.

The Authority conducted its 2012 Review against the policy backdrop that existed at that time. Since then, significant changes have occurred. In particular, the carbon pricing mechanism has been repealed and the outlook for electricity demand remains subdued, even more so than it was in 2012.

The Authority’s 2014 RET Review will have regard to the role of the electricity sector in cost‑effectively meeting the national emissions reductions goals that are in Australia’s interest, in the period to 2020 and beyond.

Australia, together with the broader international community, has agreed to a goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In its Targets and Progress Review released in February 2014, the Authority recommended an emissions budget consistent with that agreed goal.

In the Authority’s view, key considerations for reviewing the RET are the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (both now and in the longer term), and the critical role that a decarbonised electricity sector will play as Australia and the world move to a low-emissions economy. In the absence of alternative policies to decarbonise Australia’s electricity supply, severely curtailing the RET would risk stalling Australia’s progress, at a time when climate change science makes it clear that rapid reductions in emissions are required.

The Authority will conduct a necessarily limited RET review, with the aim of making a constructive contribution while not exacerbating policy uncertainty for the electricity sector.

How can I be involved in the Authority’s Review?

The Authority will draw on its previous work as well as the public submissions, analysis (including modelling) and report of the recent Warburton Review. Given the limited time available, the Authority will not release an Issues Paper or draft report. Stakeholders are, however, invited to provide additional thoughts to the Authority via All submissions except those made in confidence will be published on the Authority's website.

Date: Tuesday, 21 October 2014
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