Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey has accused Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg of burying his head in the sand on Australia’s renewable energy future.
Responding to the Federal Government’s long awaited climate change policy review announcement, Mr Bailey said it was disappointing Minister Frydenberg ruled out reviewing its Renewable Energy Target (RET) of 23.5 per cent by 2020.
“What this means is the Turnbull Government still doesn’t have a RET policy that increases beyond 23.5 per cent to 2030,” Mr Bailey said.
“So as it stands, for the decade between 2020 and 2030, the Federal Government will not actively take action on climate change.
“It’s absurd that Minister Frydenberg is undertaking a major review of climate change policy without reviewing the RET policy.
“How can the Federal Environment Minister, who claims to care about the Great Barrier Reef on one hand, ignore that the country needs a planned transition to a clean energy future?
Mr Bailey said the goal of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 was developed in the absence of Federal policy.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said a Renewable Energy Target is an important tool chosen by governments worldwide to reduce carbon pollution.
“Ruling it out before a review is like tying your hands behind your back,” Dr Miles said.
“It means any recommendations will be badly compromised.
“It will mean the work of the states to deliver Australia’s clean energy future is so much more important.”
Mr Bailey added he would be calling on the Turnbull Government to appoint an independent panel at next week’s COAG Energy Minister’s meeting in Melbourne to lead the climate change policy review.
“The Energy Minister has form on releasing trumped up information from his department without evidence, so something this important needs to be assessed independently,” Mr Bailey said.
Mr Frydenberg released the terms of references for the review of climate change policies this week.
The review will commence in February 2017 and conclude by the end of 2017.