Federal Labor spokesperson for climate change and energy, Chris Bowen, has channelled prime minister Scott Morrison’s ‘lump of coal’ moment, brandishing a solar panel in parliament and telling the federal Coalition government it should not be afraid of renewable energy.
“I have a message for this government, this is renewable energy, don’t be afraid,” Bowen told parliament while holding the solar panel. “Don’t run away from it.”
“Those opposite have an ideological pathological fear of renewable energy. There’s no word for renewable energy-phobia officially, but that’s the malady that effects those opposite.”
“That’s the malady afflicting the jobs in the towns and industries indeed in his country because of a pathological ideological opposition to renewable energy being an important part of our sustainable and more certain energy future.”
— Michael Mazengarb (@MichaelM_ACT) June 16, 2021
“You might have heard those words before, in a slightly different context. That was said by the bloke who is the Prime Minister of Australia, who is missing out on jobs opportunities for us for Australia,” Bowen added.
Bowen pulled out the solar panel during a ‘matter of public importance’ during parliamentary proceedings on Wednesday.
Bowen was debating the matter, which was ‘the Government’s failure to act on the globe’s climate emergency, which should be Australia’s jobs opportunity’.
Bowen used the opportunity to mirror Scott Morrison’s infamous ‘lump of coal’ moment, when the then treasurer brandished a lump of coal during parliamentary question time.
That lump of coal was provided to Morrison by the then Minerals Council of Australia CEO Brendan Pearson. Pearson was subsequently appointed to an advisor position within Morrison’s office, and currently serves as the prime minister’s adviser for international trade and investment. Pearson’s former deputy at the Minerals Council, John Kunkel, is also Morrison’s chief of staff.
While Morrison is absent from parliament this week, as he is attending the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor was present in the house of representatives to hear Bowen’s message.
In response to Bowen’s speech, Taylor defended the government’s record on cutting emissions and increasing the uptake of solar.
“We took away the carbon tax, and emissions are more than 100 million tonnes lower for 2020 than they forecast. That’s an extraordinary outcome and one all Australians can be proud of. Between 2005 and 2019 Australia’s emissions fell faster than the OECD,” Taylor said.
“Last year alone, we saw 7,000MW of solar and wind being constructed and installed in Australia. That’s the equivalent of four large coal fired power stations. Last year alone. That is more than was installed the whole time when Labor was in power over six long years.”
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