Milne says Abbott 'puppeteers' determined to kill renewables | RenewEconomy

Milne says Abbott ‘puppeteers’ determined to kill renewables

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Greens leader says conservative forces behind Abbott determined to kill renewable industry, and “appeasement” will not save the sector, but ambition might.

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Greens leader Christine Milne says it is clear that the Abbott government is determined to kill the renewable energy industry in Australia, and the solar sector faces the “fight of its life” to survive.

“Tony Abbott has made the political choice to destroy renewable energy,” Senator Milne told the ATRAA conference in Sydney on Thursday. “The solar industry is in a political battle of its life.”

Milne said it was clear that the “puppet masters” of the Abbott government were pulling the strings against renewables and for the incumbent fossil fuel industry.

She specifically cited the Institute of Publish Affairs, which had placed the repeal of the carbon price and the renewable energy target near the top of their “must do” policy demands.

She also noted the role of Australia’s richest person and mining baron Gina Rinehart, and the country’s biggest and most influential media owner, Rupert Murdoch, in supporting these policy changes.

Milne noted that solar was key to helping people in developing countries out of poverty, and for reducing emissions in developed countries.

However, it’s biggest impact was in challenging the primacy of incumbent fossil fuel industry.

“The technology is not just competing with dirty generators, it is turning what used to be passive consumers of energy into real competitors. And they loathe it.”

“It’s not just because solar PV is eating into their midday lunch, it challenges coal and the LNP power and political influence.”

ludlam-serious_300The LNP, she said, was a “wholly owned subsidiary of “Australians for coal” –  noting the appearance in the Senate last week of Senator Ian Macdonald, who wore a high-viz vest with Australians for Coal emblazoned on the back.

Milne said the renewables industry needed to end its policy of “appeasement” with the conservative parties. The experience of the Rudd, Gillard and Obama administrations had all shown the folly in that.

“They all thought that by watering down policies, giving ground, they then could get the policies through. But in each case the conservatives had abandoned “bipartisan” support and smashed the outcome.

“Don’t bargain below the (renewables) act we already have. We need to go for grater ambition. We have got to talk 100 per cent renewables as soon as possible, or at least 90 per cent by 2030.

“You have got the support of the population  … solar has been embraced by the demographics (retirees and battlers) that are hard  for Abbott to attack. We have to look up not down. It’s not about saving the furniture, it’s about bringing Australia in line with the rest of the world.”

 

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8 Comments
  1. Robert Johnston 6 years ago

    classic photo, love the sign being help up.

  2. Mark Roest 6 years ago

    It’s time to get the virtual war room together, with the leading players who can break the coal industry entirely: SunPower, SunEdison, the few utilities who are acting in support of solar, governments and agencies at any level who are willing to fight, or at least willing to commit to support solar and wind when it comes before them. Develop campaigns for each sector: media, communities, renewable energy and storage industry, seniors, veterans, students, progressives, greens, etc. Enroll some highly skilled individuals as Field Marshals (Miles, you would qualify, I think), and bring in the sustainability and renewable energy think tanks. Get the National Charrette Institute in Portland, OR to help with community energy efficiency, renewable energy, rehabilitation / passive solar design, and sustainable industry, agriculture and jobs visioning, across Australia. Bring in people like Tom Steyer of San Francisco, who has been funding fights against fracking, and has money to fund opportunity. Get in touch with the Risky Business team, and ask about getting key staff to come to Australia to work with universities to do an Australian version of the Risky Business report. Etc.
    Weave all the threads together into an immensely strong tapestry, that tells a tale of victory over those committing to impoverishing Australia’s citizens and enriching their class. For this is a class war, and they initiated it without declaring it, hoping no one would get mobilized until it’s too late. But I can tell you it’s not too late, and within a very few years the next breakthroughs in batteries and renewable energy generation will be in production, and will blow the doors off, subsidy or no subsidy. SunPower will indeed be able to roll up and over those utilities who side with the LNP ideology.
    Here is an idea which worked very well in the USA in 1993. Get people in the campaign to find a bunch of ways to VISUALLY communicate the impacts of killing renewable energy and conservation. Now, it can be extra powerful, because it can go through a series that starts with graphics of solar sales petering off, wind companies packing up their bags, energy bills getting obscenely high, coal companies laughing all the way to the bank, and then escalate to a climax of Abbot fiddling while Australia burns (literally), and zoom out further to the whole planet’s ecosystems and peoples drying up and getting flooded away. You can weave photography and animations together to develop a compelling narrative. Then give a minute of references (citations) and a short link to finding them on the Net. Use public tv, inexpensive radio, and especially house parties and the Net, and make it so galvanizing that it goes explosively viral.
    This is actually much more powerful than just putting black crepe over vitamins and herbs that were threatened with removal in an FDA plot, and that, plus the training materials in a Blackout Kit passed out to the retailers, resulted in the most letters and phone calls to Congress since the Vietnam War, and resulted in passage of an Act that protected supplements fairly well since 1994. In your case, the goal is more direct economic action, and political defiance with subsequent electoral take-down.
    Take out the LNP at the next election and strip the subsidies entirely off coal, oil and natural gas, while instituting rigorous price controls.

    Consider the body of writing you have created. Most of it is potent ammunition for this fight. And make a serious commitment to getting tens of thousands of opinion leaders engaging in the fight for a new Australia with you. You don’t need to hold the focus to just energy. You can take on all aspects of corruption, of opportunities for people to lead fulfilling lives (and for switching to electric vehicles), making a difference for their communities and the world. Now go out there and win this war!
    I have more ideas and resources if you need them.

    Regards,
    Mark

    • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

      There’s actually a website and org called the Carbon War Room. I found it when looking for a good title for a TV series/TV doco on Energy and CC.

      http://www.carbonwarroom.com/

      I agree it is undeclared class warfare. A pity the ALP and fools like Martin Ferguson never clocked onto that, or he did but he defected to the enemy many many years ago. Certainly sold his soul to coal and gas decades ago.

    • wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

      You did see what the mining industry did to decapitate PM Rudd without even needing to spend much of their A$280m war-chest on ad spend, right? Don’t think they will take it lying down it’s a fight for their life (not really just their power and rent seeking but that means more than life itself to many of them)

  3. Marcelo 6 years ago

    I always vote 1 Australian Greens.

  4. wideEyedPupil 6 years ago

    Glad to see Christine picked up my line from her comments feed on Facebook — it got dozens of likes when I replied to something Milne said about something percent by 20 something and I said 100% ASAP!

  5. ac baird 6 years ago

    It’ll take quite an effort as the “Government” last time had Martin Ferguson in charge of wrecking any attempt to REALLY do much about CO2 abatement. He could have really been a paid up member of the “Govt in Waiting”. The ALP hasn’t changed enough to fight conservative forces (‘cos they’re VERY conservative themselves) and the Greens remain a splinter party, sharing space with a party funded by coal and that’s aside from the COALition. With a scared ABC and a triumphant Murdoch/ Macquarie duopoly, the media are well taken care of. Hell, Abbott is even riding higher because of assistance from that like-minded individual (who also likes to defend the local religion for political purposes) Vlad.

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