Tiny, last minute spend on ’emerging energy’ won’t fix govt’s lack of credible energy and emissions reduction policy
The NSW Government has today launched an Emerging Energy Fund that promises $55 million for gas and renewable energy, a figure the Greens have slammed as totally inadequate and lacking the ambition needed to transition NSW towards 100% renewable energy.
The $55 million is totally insufficient when you consider the NSW Government:
- Received $37 billion from privatising the state’s electricity assets since their election;
- Received $4.1 billion for the transfer of Snowy Hydro to the federal government;
- Underspent the NSW Climate Change Fund by $252 million between $2014-17;
- Gave $70 million to the Greyhound racing industry;
- Spent $87 million on advertising; and
- Gave $100 million to the horse racing industry as a tax break.
The Emerging Energy Program represents just 0.14% of the $37 billion the government reaped from selling off public energy assets.
Greens Energy and Climate Action spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham labelled the Emerging Energy Fund nothing more than a fig leaf announcement that barely covered the fact NSW remained without a genuine, effective energy or emissions reduction policy.
“This is a damp squib of an energy policy from a Liberal/National Government that has neglected renewable energy and climate change for seven and a half years,” he said today.
“The community would recognise that $55 million is a drop in the ocean for the energy-system restructure that is underway and will not stop NSW from lagging behind other states on renewable energy.
“It’s just 0.14% of the $37 billion the government has reaped from selling off energy assets in NSW. It’s also miserly when you consider they underspent the climate change fund to the tune of $252.9 million between 2014-17.
“It miserly compared to the Victorian Government’s $1.24 billion scheme investing in rooftop solar alone or its substantial state-based Renewable Energy Target.
“This money could be spent on fossil fuels, with the emissions limit is set at 0.5 tonnes of CO2/MWh which allows gas projects, not just true renewable energy.
“What NSW needs is genuine investment with long-term support policies such as state-based Renewable Energy Target, a tax on carbon pollution and renewable power purchase agreements by the State Government.
“NSW should not miss out on the clean energy, lower power prices, jobs and economic growth from growing our share of energy from wind, solar and other renewables.
“I’m pleased the government has finally recognised that the shift away from coal to renewable energy is inevitable. Premier Gladys Berejiklian should have a conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison to to burst his delusions about building new coal-fired power stations in Australia.
“Renewables, energy and climate change will be at the very top of the agenda at the NSW and Federal elections. If this Liberal/National Government doesn’t stop the spin and get real on energy policy, it will find the community will vote for other leaders who will,” Mr Buckingham said.