Australia: Federal election 2019: Energy and emissions policy snapshot

Last Updated: 21 May 2019
Article by Scott Schlink
Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2019

Australians will head to the polls on 18 May 2019 for the Federal election. It is fair to say that emission and renewable energy targets, as part of the broader climate change debate, are on the policy frontline of each major party. You will find below a summary of each major party's platform as well as our list of topics to watch over the next few weeks.

Key policy summary

The Coalition, ALP and Greens have distinct renewable and emissions policies. An overview of the key recent policy announcements is outlined below:

Coalition ALP Greens
Renewable energy

Funding several billion dollars for Snowy Hydro 2.0

Maintaining the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

$56 million to aid development of the Marinus Link (Tasmanian interconnector)

Doubling the original investment for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Development of the National Electricity Guarantee

50% Renewable Energy Target (RET) by 2030

Creation of a $5 billion Energy Security and Modernisation Fund

Target of 1 million household battery systems and a household solar rebate scheme

$1 billion for a 'hydrogen economy'

Increase the 2030 renewable target to 100%

Create Power Australia, a not-for-profit energy renewable energy retailer

No new coal fired power stations


Reduce carbon emission by 26-28% based on 2005 levels

$2 billion into a Climate Solutions Fund over the next 10 years

Using Kyoto First Commitment period credits to meet Paris Agreement obligations

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% based on 2005 levels

Introduce an international carbon credits scheme for businesses in order to meet the 2030 45% reduction target

50% new electric car sales by 2030

Reintroduction of the Climate Change Ambassador and the Climate Change Authority

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 63-82% based on 2005 levels

Australia to be carbon-neutral by 2040

End thermal coal exports by 2030

Close coal-fire powered stations by 2030

Removal of new hydro and electricity from burning native forest in calculating the Renewable Energy Target

To read what we have previously written on the National Electricity Guarantee (NEG), please click here.

Issues to watch

Look out for developments by the parties on the following issues over the next few weeks:

  • Cost - There is a 'battle of the experts' being waged at the moment in relation to the cost of the ALP's energy policy. Former federal government economist Brian Fisher has reported that the ALP policy will cost the economy $542 billion and shrink growth by 0.8%, a claim levelled by the ALP as 'propaganda' and by the Coalition as a sign of the ALP's 'recklessness'. Job creation arising out of the transition to a 'green economy' appears to be another vexed issue.
  • Retail pricing - While the ALP is focussing its energy debate on targets for renewables and emissions, the Coalition continues to focus the debate on the cost of energy to consumers (especially with default pricing regulations). Voters are being asked to vote with their 'heads', 'hearts', 'hip pockets' and doubtless other clichés commencing with 'h'.
  • Replacing the RET - With recent wind and solar generators taking on merchant risk in developing their projects, many question why a complex, indirect subsidy scheme (such as the RET or NEG) is required at all. It is fair to say that the market continues to allocate technology, competitive and merchant risk further towards developers over time, with the only role for subsidy schemes being to accelerate a shift from fossil to renewable energy sources.
  • Emissions target - While reducing emissions is universally agreed, the rate is not. The range of reduction by 2030 ranges from 26% to 82% based on 2030 levels. Further, debate will continue about what is included (i.e. carryover credits from the Kyoto protocol period) and excluded.
  • Climate change - Messaging from the parties on the existence and effects of climate change appears to differ seat by seat and state by state, with noted climate change sceptics and advocates vying for swinging margins. Climate change, as a broad topic, was a key element in the recent Victorian state election and Wentworth by-election and is expected to decide at least some seats. This is further complicated by the Federal government's recent decision on Adani and the question about how the ALP balances its various voter's interests.
  • Nuclear autumn - Coinciding with the recent announcement of a preference deal between the United Australia Party and the Coalition, several comments have been made by the Prime Minister about the construction of nuclear power in South Australia on Tasmanian radio (qualified by stating he was reluctant to subsidise the nuclear industry in the process.) While none of the major parties have an overtly pro-nuclear policy platform, voters should expect this debate to continue if the United Australia Party ends up controlling the balance of power.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions