In response to today’s COAG Energy Council meeting outcome on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:

“It’s disappointing that the Turnbull Government has so far refused to compromise and accept reasonable changes put forward by the Victorian, Queensland and ACT governments to salvage the NEG from being a ‘do nothing’ policy on climate change and clean energy, to one that could be scaled-up to more effectively cut pollution.

“We urge Coalition MPs to compromise and agree to the sensible changes proposed by Victoria, Queensland and the ACT when they consider the NEG at their party room meeting on Tuesday.

“Many parts of our community, including some business groups, have been calling for compromise on the NEG so that we can have a workable plan that helps deliver the deep pollution cuts needed to tackle climate change.

“The states have done their bit by putting forward constructive proposals that would go some way to helping improve the ludicrously weak pollution target proposed for the NEG by the Turnbull Government.

“It is troubling that another genuine attempt to reach a hard-won compromise over climate and energy policy may be railroaded by a small band of sceptics on one side of politics who want to wreck any action to stop global warming.

“We are fast running out of time to make the deep pollution cuts needed to protect our planet and ensure we have stable communities that enjoy a safe climate.

“If the Turnbull Government is going to refuse to boost the NEG’s pollution target, then it must accept the state’s changes so a future government, of any political stripe, can embrace truly responsible climate action.”

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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.