Greens climate change and energy spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today said that the more detail that emerges about the NEG, the worse the framework becomes. With each new revelation, it becomes increasingly difficult to see how the NEG is anything but a policy designed to placate Tony Abbott and the fossils on the backbench, meaning the Greens may have no choice but to block legislation when it comes to Federal Parliament.
According to reports this week, the amount of wind and solar under construction or expected to be constructed already exceeds the amount expected to be built under the NEG. Thus, once the NEG’s measly 26% emissions reduction target is met, which may happen as early as 2020, there will be no further incentive to build more renewables between 2020 and 2030. The NEG will thus strangle future growth in renewables and lock in coal, producing outcomes that are worse than business as usual – worse than doing nothing – after 2020.
“This scheme will inhibit the transition to renewable energy,” said Mr Bandt.
“This scheme is worse than doing nothing. We might get more renewables without the NEG than with it, so the Greens may be left with no choice but to block NEG legislation in Parliament and we call on Labor to join us.
“You can’t back the NEG and back renewables simultaneously. If the Labor party signs onto the NEG, Bill Shorten and Mark Butler are strangling investment in renewables with their own hands.”
“By inhibiting state based action on climate change, incorporating carbon offsets and locking in coal, the NEG looks more like an emissions promotion policy than a reduction policy.
“The government is also using the NEG as a distraction to deflect attention from the fact that they still have no plans to reduce emissions across the economy in areas such as transport and agriculture.”
“Big business is falling in behind the NEG is because the policy is worse than useless and will block a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
“A real policy for the electricity sector would include a plan for the orderly retirement of coal-fired power stations, to avoid chaotic and unplanned closures like Hazelwood.
Media contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054