The Turnbull Government’s latest energy policy foray has demonstrated its unhealthy obsession with burning more dirty coal and its intention to ditch strong action to cut climate pollution, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says.

ACF Chief Executive, Kelly O’Shanassy, said the latest energy plan from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a grab bag of measures designed to placate big polluters and climate change deniers in his own party, while abandoning any credible effort to maintain a safe climate.

In response the ACF has released a comprehensive brief of the Abbott and Turnbull Governments’ efforts to prop-up fossil fuels and undermine the transition to clean energy. This latest announcement adds two new concerns: the dumping of the Clean Energy Target and another potential coal subsidy through the so called “National Energy Guarantee”.

“Since 2013 the only contribution the Turnbull and Abbott governments have made to climate and energy policy is chaos. Abandoning a Clean Energy Target and backing more dirty coal is no exception,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“The Clean Energy Target was the key recommendation of the Finkel Review commissioned by the Prime Minister himself. It was no one’s preferred option but environment groups, the business community and the federal opposition were all prepared to work with the government to get something done.

“To abandon a Clean Energy Target and allow coal to remain in the system longer is a reckless policy failure. The responsibility lies with Prime Minister Turnbull and the veto Tony Abbott has over climate policy within the government.

“The amount of clean energy the government has indicated this policy will deliver is nowhere near what Australia has to put in place to play its fair role in securing a safe climate. We are again selling short future generations by slowing the transition away from polluting coal and gas.

“It is a national embarrassment that Australia’s climate pollution is still rising. We need a comprehensive plan to cut pollution otherwise we’ll continue to fuel the global warming that is killing our Great Barrier Reef, turbocharging extreme weather and threatening our liveable planet.”

Download a full copy of Digging a hole: How the coalition is burying renewables while trying to exhume coal.

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910, tom.arup@acf.org.au; or Toby Halligan on 0419 403 016, toby.halligan@acf.org.au For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.