Prior to the election, Tony Abbott promised to keep the 2020 Renewable Energy Target at the legislated level of 41,000Gwh. Please send a letter to urge him to keep his promise.
The Climate Institute of Australia says that reducing the RET will bring power companies an extra $8 billion in profit as they burn more coal, and cause 150 m tonnes of carbon pollution.
Up until now, the Labor Party has refused to do a deal with the Coalition to reduce the Target, and the Greens firmly oppose any deal.
Now the renewable energy industry, in a desperate bid to break the deadlock which has caused an 88% drop in investment in 2014 alone, is considering accepting a deal that splits the difference between their positions. The Clean Energy Council has told both sides it will accept a target of 33,500GW hours by 2020, which experts say would equate to an RET of about 24.7 per cent.
Last week, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane put a 32,000GWh figure on the table, which is equivalent to about 23 per cent. Labor rejected the offer as too low. It would accept a target in the mid to high 30,000s.
In contrast to its intransigence on the RET, The Abbott government is proposing to make major concessions to the electricity industry in its Direct Action climate change policy, a consultation paper released on 26 March reveals. This single largest carbon emitting industry, accounting for about one third of emissions in Australia, may be exempted from any caps on emissions, because of its “vital role” in the economy (Sydney Morning Herald 27.3.15).
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