Environment and community organisations representing millions of Australians have, on the eve of tomorrow’s COAG energy meeting in Hobart, urged the nation’s energy ministers to reject the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in its current form.

 The groups have explained to energy ministers the NEG in its current form should be rejected form because it will:

 ·       Generate more carbon pollution and deliver less clean energy than if the Turnbull Government did nothing;

·       Hamper the development of the clean energy industry;

·       Consolidate market power of coal and gas generators AGL, Origin, and Energy Australia; and

·       Allow energy companies to buy international offsets to meet their pollution targets instead of building renewables and cutting pollution.

Environment and community groups will meet South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in Adelaide on Thursday and have met and/or written to state energy ministers to express their concerns.

ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said, “We urgently need coherent national energy policy, and we don’t want perfection to be the enemy of the good, but this NEG is simply not good enough and can’t be supported in its current form.”

GetUp National Director, Paul Oosting, said, “The NEG has been hastily and secretly developed without the input of state and territory ministers to appease Malcolm Turnbull’s climate-denying right flank. It fails to deliver serious action to reduce climate pollution in Australia’s energy sector.”

“This is an anti-clean energy policy by an anti-clean energy government. The renewable energy sector is calling the NEG ‘diabolical’ for the industry, with estimates that growth in clean energy penetration could halve.”

NSW Nature Conservation Council CEO, Kate Smolski, said, "We should be taking advantage of our abundant wind and sunshine to generate 100% clean energy by 2030. The NEG falls short of what's required, and won't even meet the inadequate carbon pollution targets set by Tony Abbott. Turnbull’s plan will lock in more coal and gas than if existing settings stayed in place.”

Solar Citizens Acting Director, Maria Cirillo, said, “Australians love renewables, with millions of Australians cutting their energy bills and pollution with solar. The Turnbull Government’s National Energy Guarantee threatens not just big renewables but threatens to slow Australia’s rooftop solar revolution, which is bad for everyone’s power bills and the environment.”

Environment Victoria CEO, Mark Wakeham, said, “Instead of delivering more clean energy, more competition, and more downward pressure on power prices, the NEG appears to have been designed to favour Australia's largest coal and gas generators, including AGL, Origin and Energy Australia, ahead of new clean-energy generators.”

“It’s unacceptable to allow electricity generators to meet pollution reduction targets by buying international offsets rather than taking steps to reduce pollution from their own operations.”

350 Australia Deputy CEO, Glen Klatovsky, said, “Australians generate more carbon pollution per person than anywhere else in the developed world. We must take responsibility to slash our pollution quickly. Allowing the use of offsets for power-sector pollution will delay the clean-energy transition we need and, will hold back Australia’s economy as other nations move accelerate their shift to clean energy.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.