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National Energy Guarantee

October 07, 2018

Under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, a deep energy crisis has seen power prices skyrocket for households and the viability of tens of thousands of jobs placed in jeopardy.

The Labor Party is dedicated to doing all we reasonably can to see a bipartisan solution that brings the energy crisis to an end and transitions our energy system to clean, reliable and affordable power.

Over the past couple of years, Labor has been willing to sit down with the government to negotiate an Emissions Intensity Scheme and, then, Alan Finkel’s proposal for a Clean Energy Target. On each occasion however, any progress was brought to an end by a veto exercised by Tony Abbott and his anti-renewable supporters in the Coalition Party Room.

The Commonwealth Final Design of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) shows that Malcolm Turnbull remains beholden to the extreme-right anti-renewable members of the Coalition by locking in a grossly inadequate 10-year pollution reduction target.

According to the Energy Security Board’s own modelling, the current design of the National Energy Guarantee would result in no new large-scale renewable energy project built for the next decade and rates of rooftop solar installation cut in half.

The Energy Security Board has confirmed that the Government’s 2030 target of a 26 per cent emissions reduction cut on 2005 levels will essentially have been met in the first year of the NEG (2020/21).

There is no need to defer a review of the Turnbull Government’s disastrously weak targets to 2024, as is now being proposed; we already know the Turnbull Government’s 26 per cent target is grossly inadequate.

Malcolm Turnbull’s inadequate emissions reduction target will lead to:

  • A collapse in renewable energy investment.
  • 25 per cent higher wholesale power prices by 2030 than a genuine 45 per cent target.
  • 15,000 renewable energy job losses.
  • A stifling of the inevitable energy transition already underway.

What Australian households and businesses need to reduce power bills, reduce pollution and to secure the future of energy security is new investment in renewables, which will only be driven by Labor’s commitment to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Labor remains committed to doing the best for Australian households and businesses, which means ending policy paralysis.

But we will not hand the Turnbull Government a blank cheque, nor will we walk away from our commitments to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and our 45 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005 levels.

The choice is now clear: Labor is for renewable energy and lower power bills; Malcolm Turnbull is for more coal and higher power bills.

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