Labor has been a longstanding supporter of renewable energy in Australia.
In fact, until 18 months ago, the Renewable Energy Target had enjoyed bipartisan support for ten years.
That was until the Abbott Government came to office and decided to reduce the target – despite explicitly promising before the election not to change the RET.
This week I spoke on and supported the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015, which adjusts the large-scale renewable energy target to 33,000 gigawatt hours by 2020.
Labor was pleased the legislation removed the requirement for periodic reviews of the RET, however we opposed the inclusion of native wood waste biomass.
This legislation will provide much needed certainty to the renewable sector – which has stalled around the nation and the Capital Region since the Abbott Government was elected.
Australia has plummeted from the fourth most attractive country in the world to invest in renewable energy, to tenth.
And over the past year investment in renewables has dropped by a massive 88 per cent.
This is a critically important industry in Australia. It employs more than 21,000 people, attracts billions in investment that creates those jobs and importantly, contributes to Australia’s carbon pollution reduction.
The rest of the world is marching towards a clean energy future. Around the world, investment in renewable energy grew by 16 per cent in 2014. In China, one of our biggest trading partners, investment in renewables soared by 33 per cent.
This is why renewable energy featured so heavily in Labor’s Clean Energy Package. And why Labor has fought so hard against the Government’s attacks on renewable energy.
Renewable energy in Australia is a no-brainer. And it’s a no-brainer around the Capital Region.
Here is the link to my full speech.
If you’d like to know more about Labor’s position, come along to my upcoming climate change/RET forum with Shadow Environment Minister, Mark Butler.
Thursday 13 August
Canberra College’s Performing Arts Centre