States urged not to shun COAG meeting on National Energy Guarantee (NEG)

clean energy policy

State governments should use this week’s COAG meeting to explore the potential of the Australian Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG), a peak industry body claims. COAG (Council of Australian Governments) usually meets twice every year, or as needed.

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) is urging state and territory governments to work with the Federal Government to assess the NEG’s policy detail.

According to the CEC, a “spirit of cooperation” is needed between all COAG Energy Council members achieve a positive outcome.

Detailed analysis is also necessary to fully assess the complex policy, says CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton. He said the NEG won’t succeed if state governments walk away from the process.

Clean, reliable, affordable energy on COAG meeting agenda

The COAG Energy Council meets in Hobart on Friday to pursue the goal of clean, reliable and affordable energy.

COAG meeting chance to discuss clean, reliable and affordable energy for Australians, CEC says.

Clean, reliable and affordable energy under the NEG up for discussion at COAG meeting. Image: Pixabay

At the COAG Energy Council meeting in July, states criticised the government’s decision not to adopt a Clean Energy Target (CET). A CET was recommended by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel in his June review.

Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT subsequently decided to research their own renewable projects, like solar power installations and home battery storage.

Queensland and Victoria are therefore threatening to go it alone and follow their own emissions reduction schemes outside the NEG.

Open-minded approach needed for COAG to succeed

Following earlier criticism of the NEG, the CEC is now urging a bipartisan approach to developing the proposed plan.

With only limited detail currently on the table, detailed analysis is required to fully evaluate the policy.

Success will be “at risk” if states walk away at this early stage, Mr Thornton says.

And the Federal Government will also scupper its own plan if it “continues to insult state governments”.

According to Mr Thornton, state governments are therefore “leading by example” through uptake of residential solar power and solar energy storage.

Australians want cheap, clean energy, he said, adding it’s also time to “end the energy wars”.