Tony Abbott has given his clearest indication yet that he intends to fast-track approval for large thermal coal mining projects, saying his new “one stop” shop for environmental approvals will ensure quick decisions on project approvals.
Abbott’s move, along with his party’s policy platform that has effectively suspended most investment in large scale renewables, comes as newly restored Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seeks to take the wind out of Abbott’s sails by proposing a more rapid transition to a (low) market price for carbon, as first foreshadowed on this website last Thursday morning, and the Greens push for even more ambition – proposing a 90 per cent renewables target by 2030.
The Greens also want the $10 billion set aside for the CEFC over five years to be trebled to $30 billion over 10 years, to drive the commercialisation of new technology and help the country catch up with other nations.
The policy measures were released as part of a new clean energy roadmap.
“Landmark research by the Australian Energy Market Operator, as well as independent academics, has clearly shown that a clean energy Australia is possible,” the document says.
“We can power Australia with the wind, sun, and water for a cost similar to replacing the ageing coal and gas plants that are nearing the end of their lives now. Renewables are getting cheaper while gas and coal plants will face increasing carbon pollution costs.”