A ‘blueprint for energy security’ must be about keeping the lights on and keeping the planet habitable, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

Federal and state energy ministers today commissioned Chief Scientist Alan Finkel to lead a review into the stability of Australia’s energy market. 

Dr Finkel has been asked to deliver a preliminary report to the ministers in December.

“Energy security must mean a coordinated national plan to switch Australia to clean energy with storage, because our reliance on coal is fuelling climate change, bringing more big storms and extreme weather,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.

“A blueprint or national plan to manage the transition is essential and must be about keeping the lights on and keeping the planet habitable.

“Clean energy is the only way to do that.

“Because so much of our electricity comes from coal, the main thing Australia’s current energy system is securing is more extreme weather through global warming.

“The main aim for a blueprint must be to break the link between energy and pollution.

“Next month the Paris Climate Agreement comes into force, with more than 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of global emissions, having now ratified the pact.

“Unfortunately, our national government does not have a credible plan to meet our international commitments on climate change.

“Meanwhile the transition to clean energy is happening, with South Australia’s coal-burning plants already closed and French company Engie considering closing the Hazelwood coal fired power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

“If we continue to transition slowly or chaotically we will be left with an insecure and unstable energy market,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“More than ever Australia needs a coordinated national plan to transform Australia’s energy system and help affected communities with the transition.”

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