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Labor to drop renewable energy target in favor of emissions scheme


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RET will come to a natural end as emissions intensity scheme can reach goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, says Andrew Leigh. Labor will abandon the renewable energy target after 2020 because an emissions intensity scheme will be sufficient to reach the goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, Andrew Leigh has said. On Sky News on Sunday the shadow assistant treasurer firmed the opposition’s plan to reach the 50% goal without a hard target in comments that appeared to rule out extending the existing renewable energy target (RET). “We’ve committed to getting 50% renewables but the mechanism that we’ve used in the past has been a renewable energy target. That comes to an end and we believe an [emissions intensity scheme] EIS can take us to the point of having 50% renewables … without the RET,” Leigh said. Asked to confirm that meant Labor would not support the RET when it expired in 2020, Leigh responded: “We believe that the emissions intensity scheme does that job … without a RET.” The environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, seized on the remarks, saying they “injected more confusion” into Labor’s policy. “It is already apparent that Labor doesn’t know what its policy is called, whether it will be legislated, how much it costs or what impact it will have on power prices and energy security,” he said. Frydenberg said Leigh’s comments were in contradiction to an adjournment speech on Tuesday by the shadow assistant minister for treasury, Matt Thistlethwaite, in which he said Labor intended to “boost the RET”. When Labor announced its policy for emissions trading in the electricity sector and for heavy industries before the 2016 election, the opposition said it would consult on what extra policies might be needed to achieve the 50% renewables goal, with a further RET not the favoured option. As Labor faced pressure on the cost of sourcing 50% of electricity from renewables, Bill Shorten clarified the figure is an “aspiration” and not a hard target to be achieved through an RET. Leigh’s pronouncement echoes Malcolm Turnbull’s statement that the RET was “never intended to be perpetual”, indicating there could be bipartisan support to abandon it after 2020. But unlike Labor, the Turnbull government has ruled out a carbon price or EIS to achieve Australia’s Paris targets of reducing emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/02/labor-to-drop-renewable-energy-target-in-favour-of-eis#img-1

Posted by on Apr 3 2017. Filed under Renewable energy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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