March 2, 2015

As Government Threatens RET, Citizens Step Up

Canberra, 3rd March: With signs that the Government is putting pressure on the clean energy industry to agree to a watered-down renewable energy target, 65 people turned out at Parliament early this morning to greet Senators with calling for stronger support for Australia’s clean energy sector and urging Labor Senators and crossbenchers not to cave in to the government’s demands.

Within minutes of assembling, participants were ordered to move on by the Police, following orders from Parliament House staff that no-one was to interact with the arriving Senators.  This was despite the fact that the group was assembled in a public place.

“Denying the science of climate change is bad enough. Denying support to an industry that is thriving globally because the Government’s fossil fuel loving friends are threatened by clean power is reprehensible. Denying citizens the right to express their views about this to their elected officials in a public place is bottom of the barrel, said Charlie Wood, Australia Campaigns Director

“Globally, investment in renewables is rising and clean energy is already out-competing fossil fuels in a number of countries. Yet in Australia, one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, our Government is slashing the RET, the only mechanism we have to drive investment in clean, safe, renewable power,” continued Wood.

“It’s hard to believe the Government that said we’re open for business is now sending renewables investors packing. The RET’s been a big success for the country, doubling renewable electricity generation and reducing wholesale electricity prices. It’s time to balance the multi-billion dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry with support for the fledgling, but fast growing renewables sector,” said GetUp! Campaigns Director Paul Oosting

“As young people, we are deeply troubled to see our leaders depriving solar and wind of the support it deserves while at the same time declaring that coal is “good for humanity”, said Kirsty Albion, National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition

“Instead of trying to dramatically cut our renewable energy target, the Government should be setting us on the path to 100% renewables, not doing favors for the the fossil fuel lobby,” Albion added.

Concluded Wood: “The Government’s idea of a compromise with industry is to slash the RET by almost a quarter from 41GWh to 30GWh. But this botched deal is all compromise for the renewables sector and zero compromise for the Government and their fossil fuel cronies,

“It’s time our Government gets real and protects and strengthens the RET otherwise we will lose more of our best and brightest clean tech minds to overseas markets and be remembered as the country that voted on the wrong side of history. A clean energy future is within our reach — it’s time our Government started reaching for it.”

An announcement on the final RET deal is expected in the coming weeks.

Media Enquiries:

May Ng | 0420 733 429 |