Australian Conservation Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said:
“After declaring the National Energy Guarantee dead, Prime Minister Morrison today announced a suite of policies to cut electricity prices and boost electricity reliability. There was one crucial factor missing, a policy to curb climate pollution.
“It beggars belief that in the week following a by-election wipe out, where climate concern was the number one issue, the Morrison Government has put forward an energy policy that ignores climate change.
“The Morrison Government’s plan to underwrite investments in new ‘firm’ power could be a useful mechanism if designed properly, but it should not become a Trojan horse to fund new coal-fired power stations or refurbish old ones.
“While the Prime Minister and Energy Minister say their approach is technology neutral, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just told us that some technology – burning coal – poses a grave risk to life.
“There are a range of ways the government could support cleaner, cheaper, on-demand power and increase competition, but none of them should allow public money to be used for investment in new or extended coal-fired power.
“The government could support cleaner, cheaper, on-demand power by underwriting more pumped hydro and battery storage and positioning the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to manage the scheme.
“The last thing Australia needs is a new dirty, expensive coal-fired power station.
“It’s time for our government to take an approach to energy that doesn’t continue to damage our climate, our health and our future,” Ms O’Shanassy said.