Federal Opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, has urged the Coalition to work with Labor to develop a more united energy policy during a recent address at the National Press Club.
Mr Albanese noted that the Federal Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap indicated that both parties were in agreement on renewable energy and clean technology’s role in addressing climate change and growing jobs, but that a strong energy policy was required to see the investment come to fruition.
“A Technology Roadmap isn’t an energy policy,” said Mr Albanese.
“It doesn’t tell us how to get there, just where we are going.”
Mr Albanese said that with scientific advice being prioritised, and with an investment in job creation being in the national interest, a bipartisan energy policy was long overdue.
“That is why I have written to the Prime Minister and suggested we meet and agree on an energy investment framework that will deliver the modernisation of our energy system,” Mr Albanese said in his speech.
As for which specific investment framework would be adopted, Mr Albanese said that Labor would be flexible and open minded.
“We can work with a National Energy Guarantee, a Clean Energy Target, an Emissions Intensity Scheme or other models which deliver the essential component of providing investment certainty.”
Mr Albanese said Labor would support the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies as part of the solution to reach net zero targets, as long as they were met with quality safeguards.
However, he did not agree that CCS projects should be funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) or the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), as recommended by a recent review, as he argued that this would detract from development in renewables.
Mr Albanese maintained that for the Coalition’s Technology Roadmap to progress, ARENA would need to be supported with more funding.
The Labor leader said that although the two parties disagreed on emissions targets, an “enduring energy policy” would mean adjusting to these differences and providing a clear policy framework to deliver confidence to investors.
Mr Albanese said that there was enough shared interest to come to an agreement on a national energy policy and a plan to address climate change.
“Action on climate change that provides investment certainty will create jobs, lower energy costs and reduce emissions.”