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Law Reform · Energy & Climate

Have your say: national climate change policy review

27 April, 2017

The federal government is undertaking a review of its climate change policies via a Discussion Paper, with consultations open until 5 May 2017.

This review is intended to ensure federal climate change policies are effective in achieving Australia’s national target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and Paris Agreement commitments. (Terms of reference for the review are at Appendix A of the Discussion Paper.)

It is imperative that the federal government implements much stronger leadership in climate change policy for Australia. Under current policies alone we will not meet the targets of the Paris Agreement which we have ratified.

The federal government has been stymying the efforts of states around Australia who have attempted to take action to address climate change. The renewable energy targets and emissions reduction targets of some states now exceed those proposed by the federal government. Rather than encouraging these laudable efforts, these states are frequently criticised by the federal government. Yet the federal government has given no indication that they will provide the necessary centralized leadership to sufficiently reduce Australia’s emissions to avoid dangerous climate change.

We encourage you to get your voices heard by putting in a submission to this consultation period encouraging stronger federal climate action.

The 2016 Climate Institute report, A National Agenda for Climate Action, provides some helpful points to inspire your submissions, including these suggestions for improvements to national climate change policy (paraphrased):

  1. Set a credible pathway to net zero emissions well before 2050 - reduce emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025, and 65 per cent by 2030.
  2. Ensure investor, business and community confidence in clean energy:
    1. remove explicit and implicit subsidies that encourage emitting activities;
    2. provide economic and community strategies to steadily replace coal fired power stations by 2035 and minimise impacts on vulnerable people and communities;
    3. establish policies which lead to 50 per cent of national electricity generation being from clean energy by 2050, and a clear, long-term carbon price signal or penalty for sustained decarbonisation; and
    4. integrate climate and energy policy and allow improved market responses to new zero carbon technologies.
  3. Integrate climate costs and opportunities into mainstream decision-making.


The Discussion Paper is open for public consultation until 5pm, 5 May 2017.

View the Discussion Paper here: (PDF - 540.35 KB) | (DOCX - 4.97 MB) ​

How to make a submission:

  • Electronic submissions (in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx) are preferred by the Department.
  • Send your submission to:

Climate Change Policies Review - Discussion Paper submissions
2017 Review Branch
Department of the Environment and Energy


By post: (however must arrive by 5 May)

Climate Change Policies Review - Discussion Paper submissions
2017 Review Branch
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

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