Australian Energy Council

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Melbourne, Australia

Climate Lobbying Overview: The Australian Energy Council broadly seems supportive of action against climate change; however, it appears largely in favor of a market-based response to reducing emissions in the energy sector and appears to not fully support the transition away from fossil fuels in electricity generation.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Australian Energy Council appears mostly positive in its top-line messaging on climate policy. In a statement in June 2020, it supported Australia having a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 in order to uphold its commitments under the Paris Agreement, which it has consistently supported Australian participation in from 2016 onwards as a member of the Australian Climate Roundtable. In November 2020, Australian Energy Council also seemed to support MP Zali Steggall’s 2020 Climate Change Bill which seeks to legislate a net-zero by 2050 target for Australia.

Its position on the need for climate regulation appears mixed. CEO Sarah McNamara has has maintained the need for a clear and consistent national policy framework on climate, for example in comments from January 2020. However, the AEC appears to not support most state-level policies to respond to climate change, stating in a submission to the Victoria state government from August 2019 “actions taken at the sub-national level are inherently less efficient, ultimately costing the Victorian economy more”. It [824679 expressed a similar position in a submission to a consultation on Tasmania’s Climate Change Act in April 2021, however, in this submission, AEC did express some support for state-level regulations in specific sectors e.g. transport.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The Australian Energy Council has shown broadly positive support for specific climate-related regulations. It appears to have supported both the Clean Energy Target in August 2017 and the National Energy Guarantee in July 2018. In addition, in a submission to the Climate Change Authority of June 2020, the Australian Energy Council supported broadening the scope of Emissions Reduction Fund to reduce emissions in the energy sector. However, the Australian Energy Council has opposed action on climate change at a state level, e.g in a consultation response from May 2018, it appeared to not support the Victorian Interim Emissions Targets that were more ambitious than national targets.

Positioning on Energy Transition: The Australian Energy Council shows mixed support for the transition of the energy mix. In AEC analysis from February 2021, it appears to support a significant uptake of renewables into the energy mix but in a statement from April 2021, CEO Sarah McNamara appeared to argue that this transition should be left to market forces. Likewise, in a policy statement from June 2020, the AEC appeared to accept the need to phase out coal-fired power plants but again appeared to argue this should be left to market forces. Furthermore, in August 2020 CEO Sarah McNamara wrote an op-ed supporting a role for natural gas in the energy mix without clear conditions related to abatement with CCS, and in a consultation response also from August 2020, the AEC [562043 appeared to argue in favor of the Crib Point Gas Project, claiming “whilst gas-fired generation does emit some carbon, its presence paradoxically reduces electricity emissions by permitting the retirement of coal whilst maintaining energy security”. However, the AEC does appear to strongly support the electrification of transport, arguing in a letter to the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Parks from February 2020 advocated for government policies (such as stamp duty concessions) to support the electrification. This support for policies at both the state and federal level was reiterated in a response to the consultation on the Future Fuels Strategy in March 2021.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
1 2 NA NS 2 1 NS
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
1 2 NA 2 2 2 NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 1 NA -1 1 1 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
1 2 NA 2 2 NS NS
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
Emissions Trading
Energy and Resource Efficiency
1 NS NA 1 2 NS NS
Renewable Energy
-1 0 NA -1 -2 -1 NS
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
-1 0 NA 0 0 0 NS
GHG Emission Regulation
0 0 NA -1 0 0 NS
Disclosure on Relationships