A coalition of leading environmental organisations, including all state-based conservation councils, today called on the Federal Government to de-couple the Renewable Energy Target Bill from the CPRS legislation so the bill can be passed by the Senate and investment in renewables can begin, creating thousands of clean energy jobs.
The groups also called on the government to re-draft its CPRS legislation to remove the massive subsidies for polluting industries and implement strong emissions targets that will properly respond to the climate emergency.
“The government should stop playing politics with the climate and kick-start investment in renewable energy by passing the Renewable Energy Target Bill,” said Mark Wakeham, Campaigns Director with Environment Victoria.
“The Renewable Energy Target should be decoupled from the CPRS and put to a vote this sitting. However, the legislation needs to be improved to ensure it achieves its targets for real renewable energy generation. At the moment there is a risk that fake solar credits will dominate the scheme in the early years and prevent real investment in large renewable energy projects. The burning of native forest woodchips for power should also be excluded as renewable energy.”
While the groups are calling for the passage of the renewable energy target, they do not support the CPRS.
“The CPRS legislation should be sent back to the drawing board. In its current form it risks locking in polluting power for decades rather than promote the clean energy future Australians want and the climate needs,” said Cate Faehrmann, Executive Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“We need a strong price on climate pollution, but we also need direct regulation and investment in programs to transform Australia to a clean energy economy. This means rolling out energy efficiency programs, re-powering Australia with clean energy, massive investments in sustainable transport infrastructure, protecting the carbon safely stored in our native forests, and a focus on new clean energy jobs rather than protecting the big polluters.
“Both major parties need to stop treating climate change like a political football and get on with it,” said
Greenpeace spokesperson John Hepburn. “We could have cut emissions by more than 5% in the time it has taken the major parties to debate the CPRS. We can begin the transition to a low carbon economy with today’s technology - as outlined in our report, Plan B - An Agenda for Immediate Climate Action.
“It is time politicians stopped listening to the big polluters and started listening to the climate scientists, the renewables industry, and wider community who are demanding strong and urgent action.”
Plan B: An Agenda for Immediate Climate Action, can be downloaded at