Climate Action Monaro Media Release - 17 February 2014

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 00:00

Warburton a Fox in Charge of Chickens

Putting manufacturing chief and climate denier Dick Warburton in charge of the Government's review of the Renewable Energy Target is like putting the fox in charge of the chickens, according to Climate Action Monaro (CAM).

The Renewable Energy Target (RET), currently agreed to by both major parties, is to ensure that 20 per cent of energy comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2020.

Mr Warburton has said on many occasions that the science on climate change was not settled and that "... there's huge debate about whether carbon dioxide is the main cause."

CAM President Ms Jenny Goldie says, contrary to Mr Warburton's belief, the science is indeed settled and carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases, is the main cause.

"The review needs to be headed by an independent scientist, not a businessman with little understanding of climate science," she says.

"The starting point has to be an understanding that there is an urgent need to move away from fossil fuels as a source of energy if we are to stay below the so-called safe level of global warming of 2oC.

"It's not a matter simply 'for the market' to determine since conventional economics takes no account of such externalities as the atmosphere," says Ms Goldie. "This is a clear case where government can shift the overall situation slightly and then the market can take over."

Ms Goldie says it is only a matter of maybe three years before solar has parity with coal.

"When that happens, Australia will be left with a lot of stranded assets, not least coal mines and coal-fired power stations.

"Were the RET to be strengthened, it would give greater impetus to solar and wind power development now and there will be fewer stranded assets down the line. With Warburton in charge of the review, however, this is unlikely to happen," Ms Goldie says.

Further information:

Jenny Goldie 
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0401 921 453

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:00