Australia has a strong national interest in successful global efforts to limit climate change; in contributing to that success by achieving net zero emissions by 2050; in safely managing the change we cannot avoid; and in increasing our competitiveness and shared prosperity in the process.

We have opportunities to emerge strongly from the pandemic through reform and investment across energy and the clean economy – or the risk of a reversion to uncompetitively high energy costs if we do not manage well.

For gas, Australia’s strategy should include facilitation of new supply options that make long-term sense; expansion of alternative fuels including biogas and hydrogen; a heavy focus on demand reduction through gas efficiency and electrification; and continued policy reform to promote a competitive and secure local market.

Achieving competitive, reliable and clean electricity requires that we renovate our power markets; enhance our electricity networks; de-link power prices from volatile fuel export prices; manage coal closures effectively; improve energy productivity and management across the economy; aim for globally competitive costs for energy infrastructure delivery; and close the emissions gap in electricity market designs and policies.

Building a broader clean economy demands that we develop clear and practical transition pathways across all sectors; ramp up platforms for supporting clean economy innovation and cost reduction; build a policy suite to drive mass take-up when improved technologies and practices are ready; and manage risks to our existing exports through economic hedges, a more diverse economy and fair transition and opportunity for communities, workers and supply chains.

All that is a tall order, but well within the capabilities of a talented and richly endowed country – and strongly in the interest of a nation whose future prosperity requires both success on climate and a new energy advantage.


Tennant Reed 
Climate, Energy and Environment Policy

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