The Climate Institute and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition have joined forces to launch a “Stop the Dinosaurs” digital marketing campaign designed to save the renewable energy target (RET).
The campaign is also being pushed by John Hewson, the former head of the Liberal Party who is horrified that the party, now controlled by far right, is looking to unravel climate policies and the RET.
The campaign was launched on Sunday as new polling showed that renewables has the support of 82 per cent of the population, and just one in ten would support its abolition or reduction below 20 per cent.
Hewson, AYCC co-director Lucy Manne, and TCI CEO John Connor aunched the communications campaign, using life sized puppets as props. They urged parliament to take note of key facts and save the carbon and renewable energy laws.
Connor said clean energy policies had been successful. “Pollution is down, the economy has grown, prices have been contained, and our energy system is getting cleaner with increased wind and solar power,” he said.
“But these laws are now under threat. Those who attack them would take us back in time to the days when big polluters could pollute for free, and instead want to shift the burden of pollution reduction to taxpayers.”
“We’re on the verge of discarding an effective, functioning system that can achieve the up to 25 per cent pollution reduction commitments that Australia has promised internationally, and replace it with an uncertain taxpayer-backed fund with no demonstrated capability of meeting even the minimum target of 5 per cent by 2020.”
The polling, also released by TCI, showed 6 in 10 Australians believed that the RET should be above 20 per cent by 2020, just one in 10 thought it should be abolished or below 20 per cent, and 80 per cent said they preferred renewable energy over coal, gas and nuclear. Women were the strongest supporters of renewables.
The Stop the Dinosaurs launch comes on the eve of the Government’s next attempt to repeal the carbon laws, with the new Senate likely to consider repeal in early July. It also joins other campaigns by Get Up and Greenpeace that are highlighting how major retailers are pushing to stop renewables policies, despite expensive advertising campaigns that suggest they support green energy.
Hewson said that despite a great big scare campaign by the Abbott-led Coalition, Australia’s pollution has been reduced by millions of tonnes and average households are not worse off.
“One of the tragedies of the Government’s proposed alternative policy is that it shifts the burden of pollution reduction from polluters to taxpayers at a time when we are told the Budget is in crisis.”
The communication campaign is backed by the Government’s own analysis that pollution has been reduced by millions of tonnes and that repeal will drop prices by a fraction of one per cent. This data is outlined in a Media Brief on the carbon laws’ effectiveness to date prepared by The Climate Institute.
“Young Australians want to see ambitious reductions in carbon pollution and a transition to a clean energy economy – but right now dinosaurs are standing in the way of a sustainable future,” said Manne.