Ahead of the likely release of the Finkel energy review, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has reminded COAG of the reason the energy market is broken – the lack of a national plan to reduce carbon pollution with a rapid shift to clean renewable energy and storage.

“The only way to fix the national energy market is with a plan to shift from dirty coal and gas to clean energy and storage quickly. A Lower Emissions Target scheme that helps prop up gas or coal for a bit longer will delay that shift,” ACF Climate Change and Clean Energy Program Manager Gavan McFadzean said.

“The reason we are in this energy mess is because Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott never had a plan to reduce carbon pollution and shift the system to wind and solar from coal and gas.

“Memo to COAG – the reason the energy market is broken is due to inaction on shifting to renewables. Any further delays in providing a national plan and policy certainty will drive up prices, increase pollution and make the system less reliable.”

“In theory a Lower Emissions Target could be an important mechanism to help drive down pollution but it can’t include a sop to the climate deniers that are pushing for more coal and gas.

“Finkel’s writing instructions were to deliver an energy blueprint to meet our Paris targets assure energy security, reliability, affordability while cutting carbon pollution.

“We need a national plan to get to net zero carbon pollution well before 2050. Without that we won’t keep global warming below the critical 1.5 degree threshold, necessary to save the Great Barrier Reef and avoid dangerous global warming.

“Given the Turnbull government’s love affair with the coal and gas industry it’s difficult not to be suspicious that a Lower Emissions Target will be designed to prolong the life of the coal and gas sector at the expense of increased dependence on renewables.

“Any model that throws a lifeline to coal with so-called clean coal and long term gas dependence doesn’t cut it. We need stable long term national policy that acknowledges the need for a rapid shift to wind, solar and storage,” Mr McFadzean said.

Media contact: Monique Vandeleur (Essential Media) 0419 588 430

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Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910 or Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.