“Abandoning the renewable energy target would finish a $20 billion industry, cost thousands of jobs, and force household and business power bills to increase. Losing the RET would make Australia responsible for releasing an additional 150 million tones of carbon causing – further acceleration of climate change,” said Ms Carpenter.
“This electorate would like to know where Mr. Cobb stands on renewable energy for Australia and in particular for the many renewable energy projects offering jobs and investment in this region which hang in the balance. Mr Cobb needs to uphold the interests of the people of this region and not those of the fossil fuel lobby,” Ms Carpenter said.
“A large majority (70%) of people support clean energy, and there are thousands of solar families and businesses now in Calare. The government risks killing an industry which provides jobs in regional Australia. The industry employs 21,000 people nation-wide, risking a loss of thousands of jobs if the RET is abolished”, she said.
Promises that killing off renewables will somehow lower power prices are bunkum, Ms Carpenter says. Modeling done for the Government inquiry shows that abolishing the RET will add about $80 a year to a typical household electricity bill (*).
“Abolishing the RET is not about lower electricity bills – it’s about profits for fossil fuel companies. The government is under pressure from coal mines, electricity utilities, network operators and most state governments to provide protection for an outmoded and dirty source of energy. The vast majority of Australians want the Renewable Energy Target – a staggering 99 per cent of the 24,000 submissions to the RET review are calling for it to be maintained or increased”, Ms Carpenter said.
“The Abbott government wants Australia to have cheap energy. The way to do it is to build more renewable energy. Clean energy has become more and more competitive it doesn’t come with an even greater cost to our climate security.”
“Worldwide the shift away from coal is happening but unfortunately, the government has a small but powerful group of ideologically-driven MPs, senators and advisors who are motivated by a dislike of all things ‘green’, and who, for one reason or another, are beholden to the fossil fuel industry”. They are pushing the Government to scrap the RET and what remains of the Clean Energy Future package.
“We are in a transition phase to a new energy future – this is inevitable and desirable – these opponents should get out of the way. The government must understand it needs to be involved in providing a level playing field through polices like the RET”, Ms Carpenter said.
“The government should be providing incentives and strong policy support for the investment needed to build a clean energy system, like past governments which built ports, power stations and the grid to serve the fossil fuel industry”, she said.
The consequences of abolishing the RET are clear:
Electricity prices will go up, defeating Abbott’s power price promise.
Greenhouse gas emissions will go up, increasing global warming.
Damage will be done to renewable energy projects both those already installed and those undermined by the Government backing away from its undertaking on the formerly bipartisan target.
Jobs will be lost
More profits will go to coal power generators like AGL, Origin and Energy Australia.
It will create sovereign risk, similar to that which the government claims to be the result of Labor’s mining profits tax, and is now saying is the result of its failure to get the budget through the Senate.
Call Member for Calare John Cobb, MP (02) 6331 0524 ssd
Call on the cross-bench senators to protect the Renewable Energy Target
A list of current Australian Senators is provided on this wikipedia page (which is able to be sorted via state, party etc).
(see also the Solar Citizens campaign –
Visit bccan.org.au/divest for ways to go fossil free
(*) Modelling done by Jacobs SKM and commissioned by the Climate Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF Australia.
Note: BCCAN supports any party that will act seriously and effectively on climate change and renewable energy.