The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s commitment to the integrity of the nation’s key renewable energy agencies, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

“Any moves to dilute the mandates of ARENA and the CEFC to allow them to invest in fossil fuel projects would be a perversion of their important and very successful clean energy investment functions,” said ACF’s climate program manager Gavan McFadzean.

“Australia is positioned to be a renewable energy superpower – any move to change the direction of ARENA and the CEFC is a step in the wrong direction.

“The Government’s technology roadmap has no targets, does not commit no net zero before 2050 and sets out no pathway to reduce emissions. These matters need to be addressed.

“Following last summer’s devastating fires – and with news of a terrible heatwave in the Arctic – we cannot afford to be weak on climate change.

“No political party should be banking on carbon capture and storage – an expensive, unproven red herring – to deliver emissions reductions, especially as renewables continue to exceed expectations on price and reliability.

“It is important that Anthony Albanese has today closed the door on costly, high-risk, unpopular nuclear energy.

“The CEFC was created with a specific purpose: to help mobilise finance into clean energy.

“The CEFC has made profits and provided great public value by driving down the cost of new clean energy technologies, speeding the transition to clean electricity supply through projects that support reliability of electricity and helping Australia access the enormous benefits available through improved energy productivity.

“The coal and gas lobbies have tried for years to convince the Federal Government to manipulate the CEFC’s mandate to suit the interests of the fossil fuel industry. 

“We urge the Federal Government to commit to maintain the remits of ARENA and the CEFC as renewable bodies.

“ACF welcomes moves towards a bipartisan approach to energy and the desire to agree to an emissions reduction mechanism that can be strengthened by future governments.”

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