Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has delivered a withering riposte to claims by prominent federal Liberal MP Jason Falinski that the UK is leading Australia on its emissions reductions thanks to its embrace of nuclear and gas generation.
Falinski claimed in a Twitter thread (see below), that the UK had achieved a “fantastic outcome” on emissions from 2005 to 2018 thanks to nuclear and gas. How did it do this? “The answer is simple,” said Falinski, one of many pro nuclear advocate in the LNP said, “they used natural gas and nuclear energy.”
It was too much for Cannon-Brookes, who has previously challenged Coalition talking points on energy, right back to when prime minster Scott Morrison’s started his talking points about “fair dinkum” power (read fossil fuels), and who is backing what will be the world’s biggest solar and battery storage project in the Northern Territory.
“Let’s debunk this one,” Cannon Brookes tweeted. “JasonFalinskiMP‘s original tweet is just wrong … the answer is simple, they used renewables… and far less coal.”
Australia has a great story to tell compared to other nations, but there is still a lot we can learn from them.
You might ask how the UK is achieved such a fantastic outcome?
The answer is simple, they used natural gas and nuclear energy.
— Jason Falinski MP – For The Beaches (@JasonFalinskiMP) August 24, 2021
And Cannon-Brookes went on to explain how and why, having admitted that he had been forced to “spelunk” (explore natural caves) the original tweets to find the answer.
First he addressed Falinski’s claims that the UK had used more natural gas over the period in question – 2005 to 2018. Not so, said Cannon-Brookes, after a dip about a decade ago the level of gas production in the UK was pretty much unchanged. Australia’s share of gas generation doubled over the same period.
Then he addressed Falinski’s reference to nuclear, noting that the UK had not built a reactor since 1995, and more than half (4 out of 7) of its operating reactors are due to close by 2024, and new ones are either running massively over-budget and over time, or are yet to begin construction.
“So gas and nuclear aren’t the answer (as both are flat in the UK). So what is?” Cannon-Brookes asked. And then he pointed to coal, which has fallen from 34 per cent to 5 per cent in the UK, and from 79 per cent to 60 per cent in Australia. Let’s start by looking at coal.
“Well, we can “learn from them” there. Burn. Less. Coal.”
That’s not all.
“What do they have more of? Maybe those renewable things? ” Cannon-Brookes said. Australia, he noted, has doubled its renewable energy share from 9 per cent to 18 per cent, but the UK’s share of renewables had soared from 4% to 33% , or nearly 10 times.
“We got beat,” Cannon-Brookes said. “The Poms flogged us with their famous “sunburnt country” and “windswept plains”. (You’d think the Member for Mackellar (Falinski) would be well familiar with those!)”