A political deal to cut the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 to 33,000 gigawatt hours marks a sad day for the climate, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.
“If the Renewable Energy Target had been left to do its job it would have delivered about 26 per cent of Australia’s energy from clean sources like wind and solar by 2020,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Both major parties went to the last election with a promise to keep the RET as it was.
“Today’s backdown represents a surrender to the electricity sector’s big polluters, because it will allow more electricity to be generated at old, inefficient coal-fired power stations.
“It also completely exempts the aluminium industry from doing anything to make its highly-polluting operations use energy more efficiently.
“Sadly Australians who want a safe climate will pay the price.
“Today’s agreement doesn’t address the Victorian Government’s request to allow state-based renewable energy schemes.
“The Federal Government should not stand in the way of states that want to make it easier for clean energy to grow.
“We urge all Parliamentarians to reject the idea that electricity generated by burning native forests could be counted as renewable energy.
“It will be up to Senators to make sure this dodgy definition is not included in any changes to legislation or regulations to amend the RET.”