HASTINGS CLIMATE AND ENERGY GROUP
SLAMS COALITION ENERGY POLICY
The Coalition government’s new energy policy has earned a sharp rebuke from local safe climate and clean energy group Climate Change Australia – Hastings.
Calling it a ‘giant leap backwards’, CCA-H acting president Harry Creamer said that if enacted, the new policy would push up both power prices and carbon emissions.
“The logic behind this claim is simple – clean energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. Manufacturing and installation costs have come down, and when in place, wind and solar are cost-free sources of energy”, Mr Creamer said.
“The two main drivers of the current high electricity costs are the lack of competition and ‘gold plating’ of poles and wires. Environment costs are just 7%. This new policy entrenches the power of the dominant companies like AGL, Origin and Energy Australia”, he said.
“The proposed policy encourages these companies to keep old coal power stations running, increasing the risk of them breaking down in heatwaves or storms, and it preferences the building of new coal and gas power stations at a time when the rest of the world is moving in the opposite direction”.
“We’ve gone from gold-plating to coal-plating. Most Australians support renewable energy and will reject being told they must have more electricity coming from dirty fossil fuels”, Mr Creamer said.
“The end of government support for large-scale renewable energy will also put at risk small-scale solar which is so popular in our area. The Hastings region has one of the highest take-up rates of solar roof top power in Australia”.
“Requiring power companies to buy a fixed amount of old energy from fossil fuels will keep electricity prices up and increase carbon emissions”.
“This new policy rips away any fig leaf of concern the Coalition ever had about meeting promises made at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. Since then Australia’s carbon pollution emissions have been going up and up, and the new policy guarantees they will continue this way”, Mr Creamer said.
“Australia is one of the dirtiest countries in the world per head of population. Contrast this with nations like the UK that has increased its GDP by 67% while cutting CO2 emissions by 40%. Five years ago the UK got 40% electricity from coal, now it’s down to 2%. In April they had one whole day with no fossil fuel generation. Electricity costs less in the UK than here, that’s clever”, he said.
“The way to see this new energy policy is through the lens of climate change denial and party politics. It’s a way for the Coalition to beat up Labor for having a 40% renewable energy target and higher emission reduction targets”.
“The Coalition is playing politics with our power prices, and, ultimately, with our lives as climate change accelerates and causes more and more extreme weather events like heatwaves, floods and bushfires”.