Finkel report: ‘Australia not on track to meet Paris climate change targets’

Australia is facing an energy “trilemma”, and urgently needs to implement a clear policy on reducing carbon emissions or the nation will fall well short of its Paris climate change targets.

According to the ABC, the preliminary independent report into the country’s electricity market says Australia is not on track to meet its Paris climate change commitments of reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent by 2030, notes that investment in the sector has flatlined due to a lack of government direction, and is critical of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy.

The interim report, which will be released today at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra, was headed by Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel. It says the three priorities for the electricity market are making sure there is a stable and reliable electricity market, reducing emissions and keeping electricity are prices down.

The report also identifies an emissions intensity scheme — an approach that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this week ruled out — as being a strong option to reduce emissions and to keep electricity prices low.

The Finkel review was commissioned in October in the wake of the South Australian blackout.

The full report will be released early next year.