The Morrison government has been accused of fudging figures to claim Australia’s electricity sector will meet emissions targets for the Paris agreement eight years ahead of schedule.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor says findings from a report due out later this week show emissions from the National Electricity Market will fall to 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2022.
Electricity generation from renewables is projected to increase to 35 per cent by 2021.
“Much of the decline will be driven by an increase in renewable energy, which will help meet electricity demand as Australia’s economy continues to grow,” Mr Taylor said.
“With $15 billion worth of committed investment, there will be a 250 per cent increase in electricity generated from wind and solar in the NEM by 2021.”
Mr Taylor says the government has a “sensible and balanced” plan to deliver affordable and reliable power for all Australians.
But Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler slammed those suggestions, saying the government was ignoring data about carbon emissions being at their highest level since 2011.
“Australians are sick of the ignorant lies that come from the Liberals when it comes to taking action to start to bring down pollution and grapple with the climate emergency,” he said.
“Emissions are only coming down in the electricity sector because of Labor’s Renewable Energy Target.
“Once again the Liberals have repeated the lie that they will meet their inadequate Paris climate targets.”
The Clean Energy Council says it is concerned by a lack of long-term investment in wind and solar projects.
A record year for the industry could prove to be a false dawn, and council chief executive Kane Thornton has called on both the major parties to put more of a focus on clean energy projects.
“While more than $26 billion worth of projects were completed or under way in 2018, executives are very conscious that the future remains uncertain in the absence of federal policy,” Mr Thornton said.
“State governments have done their bit to fill the national climate and energy policy void with their own initiatives to encourage clean energy, but the energy and business sectors are still seeking certainty.”