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NEG sweeps climate concerns under carpet

Lyn Dickinson, Pottsville.

According to the Smart Energy Council and the Australian Greens, the Turnbull government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee is a dud. Why? It doesn’t encourage investment in renewables or any form of new power generation. It doesn’t cut coal pollution. It doesn’t reduce power bills. It can’t be easily changed by a future government. It means the rest of the economy such as transport and agriculture will have to do much more to cut emissions.

Unless we immediately and significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, any savings on our power bills are minuscule compared with the costs which will be incurred by rising sea levels, global warming and extreme weather events. Yes, investors do need certainty, not in an outdated fossil-fuel intensive dirty coal industry but in clean energy with ambitious emission reduction targets and 100 per cent renewables. That is the way of the future, where money can be made and the planet can be protected.

It is time for our leaders to stand up for what’s right, rather than promoting political spin to get votes. Malcolm Turnbull knows he can’t win an election based on climate change as the issue has become too divisive and political poison within the LNP. So the greatest threat to mankind is shoved under the table. And instead reduced power prices are being dished out as election sweeteners.

The NEG is a pathetic attempt at a climate policy. The Australian people deserve better than this. It is their livelihood and their children’s future that is at stake. Climate change needs to be front and centre of energy policy, not an afterthought, with leaders who are prepared to step up to the challenge rather than just meet the bottom line.

 


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