The NSW Government has called time on the Federal Government’s climate and energy policy fiasco, urging policy development which reflects science, engineering and economics instead of ideology.
NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin described his federal colleagues as “out of touch” on climate and energy policy, and called on them to end the “climate wars”. Mr Harwin said that chopping and changing policy was blocking the new energy investment needed to lower power prices.
NSW pushed for the development of policy options to deliver a zero-net-emission energy sector by 2050 at a COAG Energy Council meeting of state and federal Energy Ministers today. But the move was ultimately blocked by federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor with the support of South Australia and Tasmania – something Mr Harwin described as “extraordinary”.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton welcomed the leadership by NSW and agreed that the political conversation about energy and climate needs to change course.
“The conversation is already changing, with states and territories of all political persuasions now adopting their own policies to encourage more renewable energy and storage technology. They have set bold, yet achievable targets, which are largely a move to fill the void left by the Federal Government’s inability to develop and deliver national energy policy,” Mr Thornton said.
“I would also like to recognise moves by the Energy Ministers to progress elements of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan. Progressing the Group 1 projects and looking at how to progress other priority projects will help to ensure that investment in poles and wires occurs as efficiently as possible as we move towards a clean energy future.”
The Clean Energy Council has released a set of policy directives for all NSW politicians ahead of the upcoming state election that focuses on improving reliability and bringing down electricity costs within the state. These are available on the Clean Energy Council’s website.