Australia’s Liberal Party’s new platform – Against renewable Energy
Abbott opens new front in climate war, Unleashed, 19 Oct 11, This week Tony Abbott and the Coalition opened up a new front in their ideological war against climate change action and carbon pricing.
In a move reminiscent of the US Tea Party, renewable energy has become the new target of Australia’s conservative party.
Not content with the ‘blood pledge‘ to repeal the carbon price, Abbott lieutenants Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb announced that a Coalition government would scrap the Clean Energy Finance Council (CEFC). If well designed and administered, the body is a potentially useful aid for Australia’s transition to a 21st-Century clean economy. The plan to abolish the CEFC threatens $10 billion of investment: $5 billion exclusively for renewable energy and the remainder available for cleantech manufacturing, energy efficiency and enabling infrastructure.*
The announcement confirms suspicions that the Coalition is becoming an anti-renewable energy party. This unwarranted position has implications for the domestic renewable energy industry, decarbonising the economy, and the political landscape…..
the Opposition’s anti-renewables stance limits Australia’s long-term economic prospects. Scrapping the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will undermine our ability to secure a slice of the rapidly expanding clean technology and renewable energy market, which the The Pew Charitable Trust (PDF) projects to be worth between $1.7 trillion and $2.3 trillion over the next decade.
The willingness to cut investment programs shows the Abbott-led Coalition is prepared to cede the clean energy race to our economic competitors…..
Irrational ideological opposition to renewable energy investments threatens Australia’s best hope for reversing the decline of manufacturing, which has been in the national spotlight with BlueScope Steel announcing mass layoffs just a few months ago……
The Opposition leader may have bitten off more than he can chew by adopting an aggressive anti-renewables position. While polls show lukewarm public support for the carbon price and the Labor Government championing the reform, renewable energy is a political winner.
The CSIRO’s 2011 report Communication and Climate Change: What The Australian Public Thinks (PDF) found:
“Most Australians… exhibit a strong preference for renewable energy.”
An astonishing 80 of those polled support government action to increase renewable energy research and development. Another strong result can be seen in an EMC poll from November last year. EMC found 79 per cent support government assistance for the renewable energy sector and 56 per cent support direct subsidies and grants for renewable energy technologies……
If the Australian public’s strong support for renewable energy R&D and industry development is any indication, the Coalition’s plan to scrap the CEFC may burst Abbott’s polling bubble…..