Let's boost renewable target: Bandt

The Climate Change Authority has backed the Renewable Energy Target as good policy but is treading water on where to go next.

“Bernie Fraser has given the renewable energy target a big thumbs up. The next step is boosting the target,” said Acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, MP.

“Given its mandate to put forward policies to address catastrophic global warming, the Authority should have pushed for a stronger renewable energy target. The Authority needs to take this mandate seriously when it advises on further targets for the price on pollution, otherwise it risks being left behind by the reality of climate change.”

“Australia can be powered entirely by the sun, wind and water in the decades ahead, and we should expand the target to at least 50% by 2030.”

“With gas prices rising and fossil fuels driving accelerating global warming, solar and wind power prices are coming down rapidly and are putting downward pressure on wholesale energy prices. That’s great news for all of us and for the environment.

“The Greens support the Authority’s proposal to ask the Productivity Commission to review the exemptions to the RET. That makes good sense.

“We are concerned about the cut in the threshold for solar installations. This has the potential to reduce solar uptake by damaging small and medium size businesses wanting to install solar panels. The changes could put big question marks over the industry from the early 2020s, but this is better than the push to get rid of the small scale target altogether.

“The Greens have also long argued against classifying the burning of native forests as ‘renewable energy’. We note that the Authority has not recommended returning to this policy and we will continue to oppose any such moves.”

“The Government should not delay in responding to this review. The industry needs long term certainty. It is already battered and bruised by the toing and froing of this government on renewables.”

The independent expert Climate Change Authority was established as a key part of the Greens’ negotiations with the Government to put a price on pollution.

 19 December 2012