NEG: Federal coalition capitulates on climate, says ACT

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

The Federal Government has now completely capitulated on emissions and climate change, and abandoned the Paris Climate Change commitments, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said today.

“The NEG is dead. It was hailed as a policy to address the ‘trilemma’ of prices, reliability and emissions reduction. Instead, Federal energy policy is being determined by the worst, climate change denying elements of the Liberal Party,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The Federal Government has now completely capitulated on emissions and climate change, and abandoned the Paris Climate Change commitments.

“Energy consumers will continue to pay for the Federal Government’s policy chaos.”

Both as Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Mr Rattenbury reaffirmed that energy bills are a significant concern, particularly for low income households.

“One of the great ironies is that taking action on climate change, and supporting more renewable energy, is the best way to bring down power prices,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The ACT has always been willing to cooperate on energy policy. The Federal Government's chaotic and compromised efforts in this area have become ridiculous and are making it impossible for states and territories to work with them to get the job done.

“The Government cannot deliver investment certainty while it remains uncertain what policy the Federal Government is putting forward.”

The ACT supports some of the ACCC’s recommendations but warned they must be implemented as intended, in the interests of consumers.

“We fear that these recommendations are likely to be instead warped into expensive subsidies for polluting, uneconomical coal—guided as Mr Turnbull is, by extreme views on coal and climate change,” Mr Rattenbury added.

The ACT is the nation’s climate action capital and continues to lead the charge on climate change, on track to deliver 100% renewable electricity by 2020, while maintaining some of the lowest electricity prices in the country.

An independent review also found that the ACT Government’s Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme is making a big dent in Canberra’s energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2012, over 70,000 Canberra households and businesses—17,900 of these being low income households and rental properties—saved a total of $240 million, including $15 million saved off the energy bills of low income households.