Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sells out on climate policy, in effort to save his job

Turnbull dumps emissions from NEG in final act of capitulation, REneweconomy Giles Parkinson & Sophie Vorrath, 

The Turnbull Coalition government has effectively dumped the emissions component from the proposed National Energy Guarantee, in what could be prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s final act of capitulation to the far right forces within the government parties.

Turnbull dumped the emissions component of the NEG in a desperate act to ward off a potential challenge to his 3-year leadership of the Liberals, with home affairs minister Peter Dutton (as we predicted in last week’s podcast) said to be waiting in the wings, and with the numbers, according to Fairfax.

The removal of an emissions target makes a mockery of what the NEG was supposed to be about – a first ever combination of climate and energy policy, of emissions and reliability. It was supposed to be a policy that crossed party lines; instead, it could not even be agreed on by the Liberals.

It remains to be seen if Turnbull gets to keep his job. But it certainly sees the end of any credibility that Turnbull would take climate change seriously.

Instead, the Coalition says it will choose to focus on reliability – even though there is no “reliability issue” because AEMO doesn’t not expect the obligation to be triggered any time in the next 10 years on current measures,…….

The other key component of the Coalition’s policy is to adopt the ACCC proposal of having the government underwrite the financing of new “dispatchable” generation. …….

The need for this is not clear, and while the Coalition’s right wing thinks this will translate into new “base-load” coal, renewable energy developers like UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta suggests it could help dramatically reduce the cost of solar and storage in the country, to half the price of current wholesale prices.

What’s the chance of the Coalition right wing allowing that to happen? They will be sure to want to choose the technology of their choice. It’s unlikely a Turnbull or a Dutton government would endorse a huge solar and storage project as a result of such a tender.

On top of this, the Coalition is looking to force some energy utilities to divest any assets that it may want to close, think AGL with Liddell. In effect, this is the government intervening to stop coal exiting the market, in effect seeking to stop the clean energy transition. It is appalling.

All in all, Australia’s climate and energy policy remains in a sorry state. Turnbull blames his bare one seat majority for his predicament, but at no time has he shown any leadership or an attachment to his principals, at least as we understood them before he came PM.

The lack of leadership is transparent, but Turnbull is not the only one to blame. That blame should be shared by the principal players in the Energy Security Board and the representatives of the big business lobbies who were behind the NEG.

From the start, they sought to pretend this was something it was not. In the end, that deceipt also became transparent, and the lack of goodwill, and the deliberate doctoring of the modelling that was used to justify it, is quite possibly one of the most shameful episodes in Australian climate and energy policy.

The contrast with the states – whose agreement is needed to sign off on what is left in the NEG – is marked. Victoria’s Labor government has announced an extraordinary scheme to fast-track some 2.6GW of rooftop solar through a combination of rebates and zero interest loans.

This is a gift for the federal Labor Party, and if that translates to votes at the next election that will be a relief for all concerned about climate and energy policy, and the need to embrace rather than fiercely resist, or even deny, the clean energy transition before us……https://reneweconomy.com.au/turnbull-dumps-emissions-from-neg-in-final-act-of-capitulation-30161/

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August 20, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics

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