Australian news, and some related international items

Tony Abbott will not be able to destroy the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Abbott-proof fence around clean-energy funds, The Age, David Wroe April 18, 2012 THE Gillard government will fireproof its $10 billion green technology fund against an attack from any future Coalition government by forcing Tony Abbott to repeal legislation in order to shut down the flow of money.
Ensuring its clean energy policies are carved in stone even if it loses next year’s election, Labor indicated yesterday that the funding for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation would be ”specifically appropriated” in legislation to be introduced to Parliament next month.
The earmarking of $2 billion each year for five years, starting in
2013-14, was recommended by an expert panel, chaired by Reserve Bank
board member Jillian Broadbent, whose report was released yesterday.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said the government would be ”accepting all of
the recommendations that have been made in this report”.
Any future Abbott government would be forced to repeal the legislation
along with the carbon tax, possibly forcing it into a
double-dissolution election if the Greens hold the balance of power in
the Senate and Labor holds its ground.
The announcement came as government figures showed Australia’s
greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.6 per cent to 546 million tonnes
during the year to December 2011, though the nation is still on track
to meet its Kyoto Protocol target.
The green fund will provide loans and co-investment to clean energy
companies in a bid to boost the sector, which Mr Swan said was the
victim of ”financial barriers” to investment. The fund was a key
demand from the Greens in their climate change negotiations with the
government, and is meant to work in concert with the carbon tax and
the renewable energy target to transform Australia to a clean energy
Ms Broadbent said the review panel, which included investors Ian Moore
and David Paradice, recommended the money be set in legislation
because the fund was highly valuable and needed to be protected.
”You want to give it the best chance to have some longevity,” she
said. ”I guess if we hadn’t found so much merit in the concept and
the workability of the organisation itself, we might not have done it
that way.”…….
Half of the green fund will go towards renewable energy projects such
as wind, solar and geothermal, and the other half to low-emissions and
energy efficiency measures. Carbon capture and storage is excluded.
Ms Broadbent said the fund would follow stringent commercial criteria
but would be akin to an ethical investor, aiming to move Australia
towards a low-carbon future.
The government intends the fund to make a profit.

April 18, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics

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