Climate Change Authority

Climate Change Authority

The Climate Change Authority provides independent expert advice on Australian Government climate change mitigation initiatives. The Authority is established under the Climate Change Authority Act 2011.

Special Review on power system security, electricity prices and emission reductions

The Minister for the Environment and Energy has asked the Climate Change Authority to conduct a special review for the purposes of providing advice on policies to enhance power system security and to reduce electricity prices consistent with achieving Australia’s emission reduction targets in the Paris Agreement.

The review will be done jointly with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and is due for completion by 1 June 2017. The review will be informed by independent modelling.

The Authority and the AEMC note there has been significant consultation on matters covered by this current special review, most recently through the Authority’s special review on Australia’s climate goals and policies (which covered policies for electricity generation and concluded in 2016), and for the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market (the Finkel Review). The submissions to these review processes are generally accessible and in the public domain.

As key consultation inputs to the review and in the interests of efficiency, the Authority and the AEMC will draw on submissions made to the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, and relevant previous submissions to the Authority’s Special Review on climate goals and policies. The AEMC’s ongoing consultation and analysis in relation to the System Security Market Frameworks Review will also be utilised.

The Authority would welcome new or revised submissions from interested organisations or individuals on matters relevant to the current special review on electricity policy until Friday 5 May 2017.

Submissions can be lodged via email to or via post to Submissions, Climate Change Authority, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2600. Submissions will be made immediately available to the AEMC.

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Action on the land: reducing emissions, conserving natural capital and improving farm profitability – an issues paper

On 9 March 2017, the Climate Change Authority released an issues paper for consultation on its new research project which is looking at ways to better coordinate action to reduce carbon emissions on the land while enhancing our natural environment and helping farmers improve their bottom line. This research initiative builds on a recommendation from the Authority’s Special Review, which called for further work on ways that low-cost emissions reductions can benefit agricultural productivity while furthering objectives such as enhanced biodiversity, soil condition and water quality.

Consultation has now closed and submissions have been received from interested parties.

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Summary of Final Report of the Special Review

There has been considerable interest in the Third and Final Report of the Special Review - Towards a Climate Policy Toolkit. A summary fact sheet that explains the Authority's recommended toolkit can be found here.

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I would like to respond to some of the claims that have been made recently in the media about the Authority’s work on the Special Review.  Firstly, the suggestion that the Authority secretariat staff are inexpert or incompetent is manifestly false.  The staff have a truly impressive depth of knowledge on all aspects of climate policy and have worked tirelessly, with a high degree of professionalism, to produce a high quality report under difficult circumstances.  The Authority acknowledged this great effort by the secretariat staff in our report: Towards a Climate Policy Toolkit.

I also reject strongly any suggestion that the Authority has been politically influenced or motivated by political considerations in its work on the special review.    In preparing Towards a Climate Policy Toolkit , the Authority exercised its independence in recommending a set of policies that we believe can chart a sustainable, durable and scalable course for Australia’s climate change response in the years and decades ahead.  To suggest otherwise is both offensive and untrue.

With the move to Canberra, the Authority looks forward to taking its place amongst a number of other independent agencies including the Productivity Commission and the Clean Energy Regulator.


Wendy Craik AM


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Clarification—misleading report

The Climate Change Authority is aware that a report released on 5 September 2016 incorrectly purports to be a minority report to the Authority’s third and final report of its special review, Towards a Climate Policy Toolkit. The report released this morning was not released or endorsed by the Authority, and has no status as an Authority report.  

Wendy Craik AM

Towards a climate policy toolkit

The Authority has completed its Special Review of Australia’s climate goals and policies, requested by the Minister for the Environment. Report Three of the review, Towards a climate policy toolkit, recommends a toolkit of policies Australia should adopt to implement the outcomes from the Paris climate change agreement.

As part of the Special Review, the Authority evaluated several emissions reduction policies for Australia’s electricity supply sector. Policy options for Australia’s electricity supply sector provides a detailed explanation of the Authority’s electricity sector analysis.

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Authority welcomes historic climate accord

The Climate Change Authority today welcomed the historic climate accord reached in Paris at the weekend. As anticipated the agreement commits the signatories to be bound to their individual targets with 5 yearly reviews aimed at strengthening the agreement over time.

Above all, the almost 200 nations have committed to a temperature increase "well below" 2 degrees, putting the science at the heart of the policy framework.

The Authority will consider the outcomes from COP21 in Paris in its 3rd and final report on Australia’s climate policy actions due to be released in June 2016. 

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Draft report of the Special Review: Australia’s climate policy options

The Authority’s second draft report in its Special Review invites a fresh conversation about Australia’s climate policy options. The report looks at the full range of emissions reduction policies, including the various types of emissions trading schemes. It explains how the Authority will evaluate the policy options, based on three key principles: cost effectiveness, environmental effectiveness and equity. The report also looks at how climate policies can affect international competitiveness.

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Authority observations on Australia’s post-2020 emissions reduction target

The Government announced a target of 26‑28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 for Australia on 11 August 2015. This statement sets out the Authority’s observations on the target.

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Final report on Australia’s future emissions reduction targets

The Authority released its Final Report on Australia’s future emissions reduction targets on 2 July 2015. The report recommends Australia adopt a target of 30 per cent below 2000 levels by 2025. The report draws on the Authority’s public consultations and new information since the draft report on targets was released on 22 April.

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