Palmer to support renewables target, CEFC and CCA

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Clive Palmer will not support any change to renewable energy target, and will also vote against the repeal of Climate Change Authority, and CEFC.

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palmer-150x150Clive Palmer says his 3-person Senate team will not support any change to Australia’s renewable energy target, and will also vote against the repeal of the Climate Change Authority, and the Clean Energy Finance Corp.

Palmer said he would support the Abbott government’s repeal of the carbon price, but would push for an emissions trading scheme to be implemented when Australia’s major trading partners did the same. He said Direct Action was a waste of money.

Palmer made the announcement in company with former US vice president Al Gore, who said he regretted the demise of the carbon price,  but looked forward to Australia continuing its leadership on climate and renewable energy policies.

Palmer’s decision – presuming he holds to it – effectively stops the Abbott government from its planned scalping, or possible repeal, of the renewable energy target, which calls for 41,000GWh of renewable energy to be built by 2020.

The Abbott government has commissioned a review of the RET – headed by climate skeptic Dick Warburton – but modelling by its own hand-picked consultant this week torpedoed its major argument against renewable – that the target was a burden on households and was impossible to meet.

The retention of the Climate Change Authority is also significant. It provides independent advice on climate policy – it has argued that Australia should lift its emissions reduction target to 19 per cent from 5 per cent – and also has a statutory requirement to conduct the RET review, rather than the hand-picked panel of climate skeptics and fossil fuel lobbyists commissioned by Abbott.

The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corp now also appears safe with the support of Palmer. It will continue to fund investments in energy efficiency and emerging technologies that would struggle to gain commercial finance without its support. It has promised to return a profit and deliver at least half of the country’s emissions reduction target.

Palmer’s support of the RET is yet another change of position for the aspiring coal barron. However, he said: “The world is constantly changing, and our ability to adapt to change and keep open open mind is what really matters.”

He praised Gore – the author of the Inconvenient Truth” as a great leader. Gore, said it was unfortunate that the carbon would be repealed – Australia will be the first country to do so – but said the support of the other measures was crucial.

“This is an extraordinary moment for Australian when it is beginning to confront climate change in a meaningful way,” he said. Gore pointed to recent announcements by Barack Obama, the emerging  cap and trade system in China and the election of the new PM in India and his promise to deliver solar power to every household by 2020 in his “saffron revolution.”

 

 

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9 Comments
  1. James Fisher 5 years ago

    Is it April 1?

    • Keith 5 years ago

      Oh dear I had the same thought…..

  2. suthnsun 5 years ago

    Hopefully he won’t change his mind tomorrow. Actually I am not surprised, despite his idiosyncracies his policies have been far more enlightened than the libs in many cases.

  3. John Silvester 5 years ago

    Palmer is a popularist and renewable energy is popular. Carbon tax not so.

    • Peter 5 years ago

      Indeed, polls have consistently shown that the public strongly supports renewable energy, particularly solar. It puzzles me a little that there isn’t greater political support for policies that support greater uptake of renewable energy. They would be an ‘easy sell’ to the general public for any polly.

      • John Silvester 5 years ago

        In the past politicians of any stripe could claim support for renewable energy as it was something way off in the future, put some money into research and claim to be supporter of renewables.
        Now is a very different kettle of fish.
        Renewables are now closely linked to climate change, support for one would be seen as sympathy for the other.
        It’s now, not something to be dealt with in the future.
        And it’s disrupting an industry strongly supported by both major parties.

  4. RobS 5 years ago

    All in all I think this is a very sensible set of policies, the CEFC is actually profitable, it makes the government money, and scrapping it was pure ideological lunacy. The RET which was promised to stay by the Libs in the election campaign is acknowledged by even the woefully pessimistic RET review models to lower the cost of electricity not increase it. The Palmer ETS is almost a stroke of brilliance, it preserves the millions of dollars and thousands of hours government and businesses have spent devising and preparing for the ETS by adopting the same rules, it simply sets the price to zero so there are no payment obligations, however the brilliance is that this means when domestic or international political circumstances change an ETS which would otherwise take several years to plan and implement can be brought online in a matter of weeks by simply removing the set price of zero. It appeases this government and the opposition parties, should be no problem to pass in both houses and sets up an incoming enlightened party to rapidly reverse the disastrous policy changes the Libs are currently implementing.

    • Max Boronovskis 5 years ago

      Well said Rob, I like the sound of that.

  5. sean 5 years ago

    My only thought is that Clive wants to move into Coal to liquids.

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