Media Releases | 14th Jun, 2004

PM's energy statement shamelessly pro-coal

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Victoria will miss out on hundreds of jobs in the renewable energy industry after the Howard Government failed to increase the nation’s renewable energy target.

The Federal Government’s energy statement was pathetically inadequate and shamelessly pro-coal, said Environment Victoria’s global warming campaign director Darren Gladman.

“With the release of this policy the Howard Government continues to give the coal industry a free ride to the detriment of renewable energies and the health of the planet. This policy is window dressing and has no credible substance,” he said.

“It is bad for jobs and bad for the environment. If it was serious about jobs, the Howard Government would have increased the renewable energy target to 10% rather than tossing more money to mates in the coal industry,” he said.

Securing Australia’s Energy Future, released today, outlines new subsidies for the coal industry, particularly geosequestration, or the underground storage of carbon dioxide. The policy fails to increase MRET or agree to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

“Failure to increase MRET undermines the state’s renewable energy industry. Not only is wind power one of the fastest growing industries, an Australian study estimates 6.6 times more jobs come from wind than coal, it also provides pollution-free energy.

“Mr Howard acknowledges that human-induced climate change is real and dangerous. What he fails to acknowledge is that with the effects of global warming already being felt, we can’t afford to delay renewable energies while promoting coal.

“The only way to be globally responsible is to reduce dependency on coal, while fostering renewable energy markets through MRET, increasing the uptake of energy efficiency and by signing Kyoto.”

Mr Gladman said Victorians were among the world’s worst greenhouse polluters, per person, because brown coal fuels about 95 per cent of the electricity generated in this state. Brown coal is the most greenhouse polluting way to produce electricity.