The eagerly-awaited recommendations of the Finkel Review fail to address the urgent need to rapidly reduce the nation’s climate pollution, according to the Nature Conservation Council.
‘Rather than accelerating the transition to a clean-energy future, these recommendations could delay the closure of coal-fired power stations and the rapid reduction in Australia’s greenhouse emissions,’ NCC CEO said.
‘This is shortsighted and not in the best interests of the community or the natural world we love. If it’s not a climate solution, it’s not a solution at all. What Finkel proposes is a dirty energy scheme that will effectively hand subsidies to coal and gas energy generators.
‘Given the lack of leadership at the federal level, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to step up and make plans for a just transition to the clean energy future.
‘Even if Finkel’s recommendations were implemented it would not help NSW reach its 2050 target of being carbon neutral, so the state still needs a plan for how we are going to get there.
‘Under Dr Finkel’s preferred Clean Energy Target model, coal-fired power stations would not be phased out as quickly as they would have under an Emissions Intensity Scheme that Prime Minister Turnbull ruled out earlier this year.
‘It has been reported that clean energy under Dr Finkel’s scheme would be defined as coming from sources that produce no more than 700 kilograms of carbon per megawatt hour.
‘That is at least three times more polluting than limits proposed before the 2007 election by former Prime Minister John Howard.
‘This is a lamentable lack of ambition. These recommendations are designed to placate the climate dinosaurs in the coalition, but they will not give the community the climate solution that more than 80 per cent are seeking.’ 
‘Australia urgently needs a plan to deliver a clean electricity system by 2030, anything less is leaving a climate disaster for our kids.’
Finkel’s key recommendations
- Coal and gas companies will continue to pollute for free
- A Clean Energy Target requiring retailers to source a prescribe percentage electricity from clean sources (possibly defined as no more than 700 kilograms of carbon per megawatt hour).
- New renewable energy projects will be required to have ‘dispatchable capacity’ such as hydro storage or batteries to provide baseload support.
- Power stations would be required to provide three-year notice of closure.
- 42 per cent of power could to come from renewables by 2030