STATES AND TERRITORIES are being urged to 'knock back the NEG' in its current form, as government leaders converge on Sydney ahead of tomorrow's COAG Energy Council meeting.
Climate Council Acting CEO Dr Martin Rice described the Federal Government's proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) as a 'trojan horse', saying the mechanism will fail to slash rising electricity prices for Australian households and businesses or tackle intensifying climate change.
"The National Energy Guarantee will guarantee nothing but Australia's failure to cut rising greenhouse gas pollution levels and prevent worsening extreme weather events such as heatwaves, supercharged storms, floods, bushfires and drought," he said.
"The NEG's emission reduction target of 26% by 2030 is woefully inadequate in order to effectively tackle climate change and protect Australians from accelerating extreme weather events being experienced across the nation."
"The NEG is a trojan horse that is putting the nation's clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage boom at risk."
"In fact, Australia's thriving renewable industry, supported by leading initiatives from states and territories, are already on track to exceed the weak 2030 target of the proposed Federal Government's National Energy Guarantee."
Dr Rice urged state and territory leaders to call for public access to detailed modelling outlining exactly how the Federal Government's policy plans to cut skyrocketing electricity prices and tackle climate change effectively, along with increased transparency over concerns surrounding the new 'NEG Plus' element to the policy.
"It's climate crunch time at COAG. States and territories must tomorrow stand up to reject the NEG in its current, woefully weak form," he said.
Dr Rice said state and territory leadership and action to lower Australia's rising greenhouse gas pollution levels is now more important than ever.
"As our biggest polluter, Australia's electricity sector has the biggest opportunity to cut pollution to tackle climate change," he said.
"The Climate Council is urging state and territory leaders not to settle for anything less than a strong, credible climate and energy policy that Australia can be proud of. The NEG will not deliver this."