Political point-scoring biggest threat to energy security, prices and jobs Media Release

Feb 10, 2017 - 10:34am

As a record breaking heatwave pushes emergency services and energy systems to their limits, The Climate Institute calls on politicians to stop finger-pointing and develop a national strategy to .make the electricity system clean, secure and affordable

“We have an energy system that was already struggling to adapt to the 21st century now buckling under record-breaking heat, and the political response has so far been stunts and squabbles,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.

These are the biggest threats to the “energy trilemma” of security, affordability and emissions reductions. We need the politicians to get serious and work out a thorough national clean energy strategy that deals with the need for investment in new clean energy services and the growing impacts of climate change.”

“Today’s record breaking heatwave is a very real demonstration of temperatures that will become more and more common if we keep on burning coal, oil and gas in the way we do. Analysis by CSIRO and others has shown for years that climate change will bring, longer and more intense heatwaves - this is the new normal that we need to prepare for.”

“Seeking to blame renewable energy technologies is a pointless distraction from the real issue. As blackouts in past years have shown, Australia’s electricity system is severely stressed by extreme heat, particularly in the southeast of the country. The solution is to increase the resilience of the system as a whole rather than focusing just on isolated parts.”

“This means taking seriously the security risk posed by climate change, which in turn requires a strategy for the progressive modernisation of the system to achieve at least 50 per cent gebuinely clean energy by 2030 and net zero emissions before 2050. This is essential both to avoid the worst consequences of global warming and have a reliable, affordable energy supply.”

“The government needs to detail a plan that accords with these goals. The ALP also needs to provide more details in achieving its renewable energy and transition plans.”

“Every day politicians seek to score points in Parliament is another day the threat to our energy system grows. It’s time to stop ignoring the calls from energy, industry and community groups for stable, investable climate and energy policies.”

For more information
John Connor ● CEO ● 02 8239 6299

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