Lifting the Renewable Energy Target as high and as fast as possible will unleash of wave of investment, jobs creation and emissions reductions that we cannot afford to delay, the Australian Greens said today.
The Greens called for a snap inquiry into the Renewable Energy Target legislation, allowing for the bill to be passed next week, instead of the delay over winter imposed by the Opposition and Independent Senators this morning.
"There is a wave of renewable energy projects waiting to be unleashed as soon as this legislation passes, so let's get a move on," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne said.
"We urgently need to give renewable energy innovators and investors the certainty they need to begin work immediately creating jobs and reducing emissions.
"The Greens want a short inquiry, improvements to the Bill, and then a decisive step towards the renewable future.
"Senator Fielding presumably wants a delay to examine the links between solar flares and solar panels, and the Opposition wants a delay to help their big polluting mates. But I cannot explain why Senator Xenophon supported this unnecessary and damaging delay."
The Greens are proposing amendments to the legislation to
• lift the target to truly ambitious levels;
• remove the exemption for big polluters;
• fix the 'phantom credits problem created by the ill-thought-out solar multiplier; and
• tighten the definition of renewable energy to exclude native forest biomass, solar water heating and heat pumps.
"The unpleasant and unfortunate political games being played around the renewable energy legislation are entirely the fault of the Government.
"Had they not tried to wedge the Opposition by linking the target to the CPRS, the Government would now be looking at strong Senate support for this legislation.
"The climate crisis is not a political game! It is way past time to get serious and do what needs to be done."