Renewable Energy Target Review
In May 2014, SACOME produced a submission to the Federal Government regarding the statutory review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). This submission highlighted our support for mechanisms that cultivate government and industry partnerships in research and development and the commercialisation of new technologies.
As part of its election priorities at the previous Federal election, SACOME lobbied for the removal of Labor’s fixed price Carbon Pricing Mechanism (i.e. ‘Carbon Tax’) to a floating, market price on emissions units with more adequate assistance for trade exposed sectors. We have since been supportive of the Coalition’s moves to abolish the Carbon Tax and engaged with the Federal Government concerning the design and implementation of its ‘Direct Action’ Policy.
In 2015 SACOME was involved in a nationally coordinated submission on the Emissions Reduction Fund. The submission focussed on the design of the fund and the baselines for which emissions reductions or exceedances would be measured. With the repeal now of the Carbon Tax, SACOME will continue to engage the Federal Government on its Direct Action policy and monitor developments in this space.
The South Australian mining and energy industry
South Australian mining and petroleum companies have their own strategies and assumptions around climate change and plan accordingly. BHP Billiton for example, which operates the enormous Olympic Dam mine, bases its assumptions on the work of the globally recognised Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The company acknowledges that climate change is a global challenge posing risk to the environment and economic development, and that substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required.
South Australia's energy sector is contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through the use of lower emission gas power stations rather than coal (which feature more in other Australian states.) Through the export of uranium to other countries (such as China) for use in nuclear power stations, our uranium industry is contributing to a lower reliance on fossil fuels for power. Nuclear energy is a low emission power alternative.