The Climate Change Act 2017 requires the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change to seek independent expert advice to inform the setting of interim emissions reduction targets. Minister D’Ambrosio has appointed an independent expert panel to provide this advice, with Mr Greg Combet AM as Chair, and members Dr Penny Whetton and Dr Lorraine Stephenson.
The Panel’s final report will be delivered to the Minister by 8 June 2018. It will subsequently be tabled in Parliament.
The Minister and the Premier will be responsible for setting the interim emissions reduction targets.
Media release: Leading Policy Informed By Experts
The Interim Targets Independent Expert Panel Terms of Reference reflect the statutory requirements laid out in section 12 of the Climate Change Act 2017.
The Panel’s advice must include interim target options, indicative trajectories to net zero emissions by 2050, and potential emissions reduction opportunities to achieve the targets.
The Panel must consider economic, environmental and social circumstances and impacts, as well as the latest climate science, national and global climate action, low-emissions technology and progress in reducing Victoria’s emissions.
The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change appointed the Independent Expert Panel to provide advice on interim emissions reduction targets in October 2017. The members are:
- Mr Greg Combet AM (Chair)
- Dr Penny Whetton
- Dr Lorraine Stephenson
The Panel members have significant experience in climate change science, low emissions technologies and climate policy. The Panel is supported by a secretariat in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Mr Greg Combet AM is the Chair of the Defence Council Victoria and Victoria’s Defence Industry Advocate. Mr Combet is also Deputy Chair of IFM Investors, Deputy Chair of Industry Super Australia and a Director of ME Bank. Mr Combet held numerous Ministerial and Parliamentary Secretary roles in the Australian Government from 2007 to 2013, including Minister for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Defence Personnel, Science and Materiel. Prior to this Mr Combet held the role of ACTU Secretary for eight years and Assistant Secretary for six years before that.
Dr Penny Whetton is an Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. In Dr Whetton’s twenty-five year career with CSIRO she took a leading role in Australian science on projecting regional climate change and the use of projections in impact assessment. Through this and her community engagement she has made a unique contribution to national understanding of, and preparedness to respond to, climate change. Dr Whetton was a lead author of the regionalisation and climate scenarios chapters of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the regional projections chapter of the Fourth Assessment Report of IPCC, and of the Australasia chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report.
Dr Lorraine Stephenson has over 30 years of technical, policy and managerial corporate experience with a strong strategic focus on the energy sector. In her current role in Lightning Consulting Services, Dr Stephenson works with clients to mitigate risks and create opportunities for Australian businesses and governments to respond to climate change challenges including options to drive investments in low emission technologies and abatement options. Dr Stephenson currently holds a number of positions on boards and committees, including Non-Executive Director of Queensland Electricity Transmission Corporation Limited (Powerlink) and member of the New South Wales Government's Climate Change Council. She was formerly the Chief Clean Energy Advisor to the Queensland Government, a Partner at Ernst & Young, Non-Executive Director of Ergon Energy and Non-Executive Director of the Australia Industry Greenhouse Network, and held executive positions at Origin Energy for 12 years.