The Abbott Government’s Green Paper on energy, released today, clings to last century’s ideas by focussing on fossil fuels, while the world calls for action on climate change, say the Australian Greens.
“Just as world leaders are to meet in New York for the climate summit, with our Prime Minister notably absent, the Abbott Government is flying in the face of international calls for renewable energy with this paper focussed on fossil fuels,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said.
“With the world moving away from fossil fuels, Australia’s export growth in energy will be driven not by coal or expensive gas, but by the innovation and deployment of clean, renewable energy technologies.
“CSIRO, ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation are building up these cutting-edge renewable technologies, and the Abbott Government needs to stop thwarting them with cuts and uncertainty.
“Australia would miss the huge opportunities that are available in smart manufacturing and export earnings if we followed the Green Paper’s fossil fuel prescription. Solar is already cheaper than gas in many parts of Asia, our target market.
“While we welcome the acknowledgement that energy efficiency can play a key part in driving productivity and driving down costs, this is at odds with the Abbott Government last month scrapping the law that required big polluters to investigate where those savings could be made.
“The paper’s openness to joining the 70 per cent of the global car market that has vehicle efficiency standards shows that the Abbott Government needs to get behind the Greens’ bill that would align us with the EU, saving motorists $850 a year on petrol.
“Claims repeated in in this official report that more gas is needed are nothing more than the price Australians pay for the revolving door of ex-ministers such as Martin Ferguson and Greg Combet working for the big dollars that energy companies can offer,” Senator Waters said.