The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says the Turnbull Government must respond to AGL’s plan to close the polluting Liddell coal plant with a comprehensive national roadmap to cut climate pollution and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said the Prime Minister’s attempt to strongarm AGL into keeping Liddell burning coal longer had failed with AGL confirming the plant would shut as scheduled in 2022. She said the Turnbull Government must now drop its obsession with coal, end its delaying tactics on climate change action, and put forward a comprehensive plan to transition to 100 per cent clean energy as swiftly as possible.
Last month ACF and the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures released detailed modelling finding that replacing Liddell with clean energy and smart technologies would slash climate pollution and save billions of dollars compared to keeping the plant open past its used-by date. The report – Beyond Coal: Alternatives to Extending the Life of Liddell Power Station – can be found here.
“While state governments and energy companies are getting on with replacing polluting coal power with clean energy, the Prime Minister is bending over backwards to keep dirty coal in our energy system longer,” Ms O’Shanassy said.
“Keeping Liddell polluting for another five years was nothing more than a poorly informed thought bubble from the Prime Minister. What we need is a strong, comprehensive plan that would speed-up the retirement of polluting coal plants and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
“To date all we have from the Turnbull Government is the National Energy Guarantee, an undercooked policy that stifles clean energy and gives an irresponsible boost to burning dirty coal despite the harm it causes Australians.
“Our detailed economic modelling has shown that replacing the polluting Liddell coal plant with clean energy and smart technologies would slash pollution and save billions of dollars. But we need the right policies and incentives from our governments to unlock these benefits of clean energy.
“Australia’s climate pollution is soaring. We must move to 100 per cent clean energy as soon as possible if we want to halt climate change and continue to enjoy our liveable planet. Mr Turnbull cannot delay the transition any longer”