The Australian Conservation Foundation says coal workers and energy security will continue to suffer due to the inability of the major parties to enable rapid shift from coal to renewables.
“The final report into the closure of the coal industry, with dissenting reports from both Labor and Coalition Senators, highlights the squabbling that has characterised energy policy in Australia over the last decade,” said Climate Change Program Manager Gavan McFadzean.
“The Greens should be congratulated for outlining policy settings that enable an accelerated and orderly transition from coal to renewables via the establishment of a new energy transition authority.
“While the Coalition’s dissenting report to the inquiry was expected, it is disappointing that Labor also rules out the early transition away from coal to renewables, locking in coal fired generation for decades to come.
“The big losers from the lack of leadership from both major parties will be coal workers and their communities, who are being left in the lurch by governments who are more interested in point scoring than finding a credible pathway to cut pollution and secure jobs for the future.
“Australians know that the answer to our energy crisis is renewables and storage. Both the public and financial markets have accepted that there is too much risk associated with new coal because the rail lines and mines will become useless stranded assets.
“We have come to expect the fossil fuel obsessed ideology from the Coalition but we are disappointed federal Labor have missed an opportunity to show courage and leadership, by failing to agree the early and orderly closure of Australia’s coal fired generation capacity.
“Today’s report comes down as the Turnbull government looks to hand over $1 billion to Adani’s Carmichael mine, what would be the most destructive coal mine we’ve seen this century.
“Both the Coalition and Labor parties need to read the memo they were sent a decade ago – new coal is condemning workers and the climate to disaster, the future is solar and renewables.”