The Federal Government is merging the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).
The mergers are expected to bridge the gap between climate policy and economic and industry policy and between energy efficiency programs and the wider energy policy agenda.
“Climate change is an environmental problem which requires an economic solution. This is why we are merging the responsibility for climate change policy into the department responsible for driving innovation and industry policy in our economy,” climate change minister Greg Combet said.
He said reducing carbon pollution and changing the economy to compete in a low carbon global economy will be the main drivers of Australia’s industrial structure and policy needed to reflect this.
The policy design work and legislation for the carbon price is now complete and the carbon price is being implemented, according to Combet. A large number of DCCEE staff moved to the Clean Energy Regulator when it was established last year.
So the Government has decided a separate department is no longer necessary for this policy work.
“Integrating key energy efficiency policies with the wider energy market reform agenda will enhance our energy productivity reforms. Accordingly DCCEE’s energy efficiency functions will be merged into the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism,” Combet said.
The Clean Energy Regulator will remain an independent agency whose role will be to administer the carbon price, the Renewable Energy Target and other policy measures.