Dangerous Climate Scepticism Abounds in Federal Government’s RET Review

Thursday, 28 August

Western Australia’s renewable energy industry is bracing for a fight today after the release of a federal government report that suggests a significant winding back of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

Greens WA spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, Robin Chapple MLC, warned the stability provided by the RET to WA’s renewable energy industry would be lost if the government adopted the changes suggested by the report.

“Aside from the obvious environmental implications, any change to the current target could spell disaster for the solar industry in Western Australia,” he said.

“We’re already seeing a lack of commitment to renewables by our dinosaur government; the abandonment of the iconic Ten Mile Lagoon Wind Farm in Esperance is a prime example.

“Solar and other renewable industries, who are currently able to compete on a level playing field, will lose that certainty provided by the RET.

 “Ultimately this will translate to a loss of jobs, a rise in costs for solar systems and a backwards step towards combating climate change in our state, and Australia-wide.”

Mr Chapple said the West Australian government had already reiterated yesterday they were not looking to move towards large-scale renewable energy until at least 2030 and labelled the sector a “disruption” to the existing energy market.

“The government’s backward stance at the 2014 WA Energy Conference yesterday was delivered loud and clear,” he said.

“It was made quite clear that any changes to the RET in support of WA’s established coal and gas industries would be welcomed; this is a huge mistake for our state.

“We have enormous potential to expand our renewable energy target far and above the baseline 20 per cent; any forward thinking government would be capitalising on our state’s vast natural capabilities for solar and wind generation.”

Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said both options presented by the report would destroy renewable energy in Australia, an outcome the Greens had predicted long ago.

“I’m glad this dangerous and ignorant report is finally public, so everyone can see it for the climate denier drivel it is,” she said.

“The RET review is part of the dinosaur protection racket - Clean energy is proving way too good at making coal obsolete.

“The Renewable Energy Target is cutting pollution, rolling out investment, creating jobs and will bring power bills down. Why on earth would we get rid of it?

“A strong Renewable Energy Target helps Australia ride the transition to sustainable energy. Without it, we risk falling off the back of the wave and being stuck in a quagmire of ever rising fossil fuel prices.

 “Really, we don’t need to wait and see how the government will respond to this report it commissioned with a hand-picked climate sceptic at the helm. What we need to do is throw the RET report in the bin.”

The full RET Review Report provided by Dick Warburton to the government can be found here.

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255.

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