The Victorian government is facing pressure from a renewable energy group to negotiate for a more ambitious national emissions reduction target.
The states and territories in May committed to ongoing design work on the federal government’s national energy guarantee, with hopes it will be signed in August.
But the Smart Energy Council, which is bringing together renewable energy experts at a summit in Melbourne on Tuesday, has urged the Victorian government only to back the scheme if its emissions reduction target is strengthened.
The current target of 26 per cent is at the lower end of Australia’s Paris agreement commitments to reduce 2005 level emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030.
The council believes a target of at least 45 per cent would be more appropriate.
‘Without a stronger target to reduce emissions, the national energy guarantee will cheat Victorians and the whole of Australia out of more investment, jobs and cheap clean energy,’ the council’s chief executive John Grimes said in a statement.
State energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio will be first to speak at Tuesday’s summit, about Victoria’s renewable energy ‘boom’ and projects in the pipeline.
Ms D’Ambrosio last month described the national energy guarantee’s emissions targets as ‘very weak’ but hoped to make the agreement more to Victoria’s liking.
The state will honour its own target of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025, she said.