Labor’s bid to co-operate on energy policy “a good starting point”, CEC

AAP/Paul Miller

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) has “cautiously” welcomed Federal Labor’s move to end the climate and energy wars that have mired the Australian political landscape for more than a decade.

The Council said Australia desperately needs to settle on a policy that can achieve enduring bipartisan political support and restores the confidence of clean energy investors to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions, ensures the stability of the grid and keeps electricity prices low for households and industry alike.

“The ALP’s proposal is a good starting point,” Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said.

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“Failed attempts to agree on a national emissions reduction policy has resulted in a deep divide that now, more than ever, must come to an end as our economy gets back on its feet. We are encouraged by the ALP’s recognition of the vital roles that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will continue to play in building Australia’s innovation advantage.

“The Technology Investment Roadmap currently being developed by the Federal Government has the potential to be an important first step in restoring confidence and bipartisanship in energy policy in Australia. Of course, a roadmap that ignores commercial realities and the enormous investment appetite for renewable energy by prioritising fossil-fuel technologies that are not investable would be a waste of time and taxpayer money and a distraction from the energy transition.”

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Thornton continued by saying that it was in the national interest that the two major parties accept that mistakes have been made in the past and return to good-faith negotiations to seek long overdue agreement on the future of Australia’s energy and climate policy. Today’s statement from the ALP is a positive first step.

”The hundreds of large-scale wind and solar projects that have been identified with planning approval can inject over $50 billion worth of investment to revitalise economic activity in our regional and rural communities,” Thornton said.

“Sensible energy policy is the way forward to prepare Australia for the future by delivering economic growth and carbon abatement.”