Government has no credible clean energy and pollution plan for Australia Media Release

Mar 26, 2015 - 5:20pm

The government’s clean energy and climate credentials remain in tatters with its destabilisation of the clean energy industry and its feeble safeguards on our biggest polluters, said the Climate Institute today.

“The government is continuing its economically reckless undermining of industries critical to Australia’s long-term prosperity,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

“By continuing to seek deep cuts to the Renewable Energy Target and proposing phoney emissions limits that would allow pollution to rise, the government is signalling that it is content for Australia to remain a clunker economy rather than modernising with the rest of the world.”

“The debate about climate policy shouldn’t be about what crumbs we can offer the clean energy industry till 2020. The spotlight should be on the deeper decarbonisation challenge, and the fact that our electricity system is held back by an aging, inefficient and polluting power generator fleet.”

The government’s issues paper on its safeguard mechanism reveals that high-carbon power stations could actually increase their emissions substantially over the next five years.

“To remain competitive in the modern global economy we need to bring our power sector into the 21st century. A strong and growing renewable energy industry is central to Australia’s prosperity but we also need to ensure our ageing, high-polluting coal power stations are gradually phased out over the next couple of decades. Regardless of the scale of the 2020 Renewable Energy Target you can’t modernise a power system if it’s based mainly on coal generators over 40 years old and well past their use-by dates."

“While the government has led the push to slash the RET and the ALP has rightly resisted this, neither major party is showing it understands the economic transformations underway, let alone has a plan capable of dealing with them.”

“Neither party has a credible vision for the future without a strategy for decarbonising our energy and modernising our economy,” concluded Connor.

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