Most of Australia's top 10 carbon polluters want the renewable energy target abolished or slashed, according to a new report.

The top 10 comprise seven energy companies and three miners.

The Australian Conservation Foundation report has produced the list of companies, which account for almost a third of the nation’s carbon emissions.

The top polluter, according to 2013-14 figures gathered from information provided to the government body Clean Energy Regulator, is EnergyAustralia.

At least eight of the companies have publicly pushed for the RET to be scaled back or abolished, many citing costs and excess energy in the system.

However, most also acknowledge climate change as a problem.

Labor and the government have reopened talks over the previously bipartisan RET, after negotiations fell over last year.

The RET mandates 20 per cent of Australia’s power come from renewables by 2020. Changes in electricity usage mean the mandated target of 41,000 gigawatt hours is expected to overshoot by 20 per cent.

The government wants the figure cut to 27,000 while Labor is standing firm on a target in the high 30,000s.

ACF president Geoff Cousins accused the government of ignoring the Australian public on renewable energy and listening to big polluters.

“It looks a lot like energy and climate politics in Australia are being dictated by the companies and industries that are causing much of the problem,” he said.


  1. EnergyAustralia
  2. Macquarie Generation
  3. AGL Energy
  4. Rio Tinto
  5. GDF Suez Australian Energy
  6. Stanwell Corporation
  7. Alcoa Australian Holdings
  8. Origin Energy
  9. CS Energy
  10. Woodside Petroleum
(Taken from ACF Australia’s Top 10 climate polluters report. Based on carbon emissions.)