The second auction for the Turnbull Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund has spent a further $557 million of public money with no guarantee of Australia’s emissions falling, said Environment Victoria.
Safe Climate Campaign Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:
“The Clean Energy Regulator says the auction will deliver 45 million tonnes of carbon savings, but over the lifetime of these projects, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to emissions from coal-fired power stations like Hazelwood and Yallourn. Over an equivalent period, these two plants alone will emit 250 million tonnes of carbon pollution. And they are currently increasing their greenhouse pollution.
“The Turnbull Government is moonwalking on climate change – they are trying to make it look like Australia is moving forwards, but we are actually going backwards.”
“Even while the Government is paying for these cuts, they can’t provide any guarantee that Australia’s emissions won’t go up significantly. Our research has shown that without an effective Safeguard Mechanism, the electricity sector alone could push Australia’s total emissions 20% higher than they currently are, with no penalty.
“Elsewhere today it has been reported that brown and black coal power stations have reached their highest output levels in three years, undermining any progress being achieved by Direct Action.
“The Turnbull Government needs to go back to the drawing board to develop a comprehensive plan to decarbonise Australia’s economy and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
“Central to this plan will need to be a policy that will retire our oldest and dirtiest power stations like Hazelwood and Yallourn, which Direct Action cannot do.
“Time is running out before the Paris negotiations to come up with a credible solution.”