Energy and climate policy chaos as renewables talks collapse Media Release

Nov 12, 2014 - 6:30am

Australian domestic energy policy has descended into international and investment embarrassment, The Climate Institute said today, while urging political leaders to come back together to work on an electricity decarbonisation strategy.

“With the collapse of renewable energy negotiations our political leaders are institutionalising uncertainty in Australia’s energy policy as well as smashing investment in renewable energy, said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

“Today’s news that the Government and ALP have been unable to deliver a bipartisan outcome on the Renewable Energy Target makes another sorry day in Australian climate change policy.”

“This is not only an issue for renewable energy investments: playing political football with the power sector risks making any investment in the sector impossible. This limbo will increase costs to households and other energy users, and see damaging pollution levels continue to rise.”

“As world leaders gather in Brisbane for the G20, Australia is in the international spotlight. Global investors are currently judging where to invest billions of dollars in clean energy around the world.”

“What Australia is effectively saying now is that it’s OK to shift billions of dollars of investment offshore. That money will go instead to China, the USA and other countries who see the opportunities, new jobs and new industries in the transition to a globally decarbonised economy.”

“Australia’s power supply needs to decarbonise and reach zero emissions within decades.”

"For Australia to prosper through the inevitable transition to a decarbonised economy, both major political parties need to agree a pathway to ensure Australia has a strong and growing renewable energy sector, and a plan to close our ageing and inefficient coal fired power stations.”

The Climate Institute urges all parties to come back to the table to ensure investment in a strong and growing clean energy sector remains viable.

“Failure to clean up the energy policy mess risks Australia being marooned with a crippled energy sector as global action on clean energy speeds up," concluded Connor.

For more information

Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299

 

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