Thursday, December 18, 2008

Climate Change

Renewable target no replacement for strong carbon cuts

Date: 17-Dec-2008

The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed today’s release of details of the federal target for renewable energy, but said the Government was failing the climate if it did not improve on the weak carbon reduction target proposed this week.

"ACF welcomes this first, essential step in building the renewable energy industry, but unless it is accompanied by strong emissions cuts in the range of 25-40 per cent by 2020, the Government won’t be doing what’s necessary to play our part to avoid dangerous climate change," said ACF executive director Don Henry.

"The proposed renewable energy target (RET) is a start, but the scheme outlined today kicks in too slowly and will only tap into a fraction of Australia’s very large solar, wind and geothermal energy resources."

"The scheme, as it is outlined, will encourage slow growth in renewable energy for the first five years, with faster growth occurring only after 2015. We urge the Government to ramp up the scheme much earlier."

Mr Henry said ACF was concerned by the Government’s reference to "RET affected trade-exposed industries" and would seek assurances that this does not signal more payouts to big polluters from the public purse.

"Australians would be outraged if still more public money ends up in the bank accounts of the big polluters under the cover of a renewable energy scheme," he said.

"The Government should revisit the weak carbon reduction target announced this week and replace it with one that will position Australia to play its part to save the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and the Australian Alps from climate change devastation."

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