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Review of Australia's climate change policies

Final Report December 2017

The 2017 review of climate change policies report was released on 19 December 2017.

About the 2017 Review of Climate Change Policies

In 2017, the Government reviewed its climate change policies to ensure they remain effective in achieving Australia's 2030 target and Paris Agreement commitments.

The review was conducted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. A final report was released on 19 December 2017.

The Department of the Environment and Energy consulted widely with businesses across all sectors of the economy and with the community. This included the release of a discussion paper on 24 March 2017, which generated 357 public submissions (105 from individuals and 252 from organisations). The Department of the Environment and Energy met with more than 270 stakeholders and the Minister for the Environment and Energy hosted two roundtables, attended by representatives of 42 business, community, environmental and Indigenous organisations.

The review looked at the opportunities and challenges of reducing emissions on a sector by sector basis, taking into consideration the different circumstances and characteristics of each sector. The review considered recommendations from the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market.

The review process

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Review were announced in December 2016. They are available for download:

Review of Australia's climate change policies - Terms of Reference (PDF - 21.94 KB)
Review of Australia's climate change policies - Terms of Reference (DOCX - 36.21 KB)

Read online

2017 Review of Climate Change Policies
Terms of Reference

The Government is committed to addressing climate change. Through effective policies, ambitious and responsible targets, and careful management, Australia is playing its role in global efforts to reduce emissions, while maintaining a strong economy and realising the benefits of the transition to a lower emissions future.

The Government's policies are working to reduce Australia's emissions. They have Australia on track to surpass its 2020 emissions reduction target and provide a framework for the longer term.

In setting its 2030 target of reducing emissions to 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels, the Government committed to reviewing its policies during 2017. The review will ensure the Government's policies remain effective in achieving Australia's 2030 target and Paris Agreement commitments. The review will look at:

  • the opportunities and challenges of reducing emissions on a sector-by-sector basis;
  • the impact of policies on jobs, investment, trade competitiveness, households and regional Australia;
  • the integration of climate change and energy policy, including the impact of state-based policies on achieving an effective national approach;
  • the role and operation of the Emissions Reduction Fund and its safeguard mechanism;
  • complementary policies, including the National Energy Productivity Plan;
  • the role of research and development and innovation;
  • the potential role of credible international units in meeting Australia's emissions targets; and
  • a potential long-term emissions reduction goal post-2030.

The review will involve close engagement with business and the community, beginning with consultation on a discussion paper.

The review will monitor and be informed by developments in international climate policy, and include a focus on electricity prices for end users. The review will build on parallel processes, including the Finkel review of the reliability and security of the National Electricity Market, and the work of the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions.

The review will commence in February 2017 and conclude by the end of 2017.

Public consultation

On 24 March 2017, the Department released a Discussion Paper, available below. The Discussion Paper invited input from business and the community.Submissions closed at 5:00pm AEST on 5 May 2017.

Further information

  • Media enquiries should be directed to: media@industry.gov.au