Crunch Time For Renewables GET-UP

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Crunch time for renewables


Paul – GetUp!

6:51 PM (4 minutes ago)

to me

Right now, back-room negotiations are underway between Labor and the Coalition to decide the future of renewables in Australia.

Tony Abbott’s position is clear: the Coalition wants to slash the Renewable Energy Target by up to 40%1 — which would kill off investment, cost thousands of jobs and drive up power bills and carbon pollution2. They’re under enormous pressure from the fossil fuel lobby, led by dirty power companies Origin and AGL. AGL has even called for this crucial renewables policy to be scrapped altogether.3

But we have what it takes to win this campaign. More than 75% of Australians, regardless of who they vote for, support the Renewable Energy Target. That’s our strength and now’s the time to mobilise it.

NEVILLE, we know Coalition backbenchers are rattled about the Government’s performance on jobs and the economy. They need to be reminded that their own constituents see the connection between slashing the Renewable Energy Target and fewer jobs, weakened investment, and higher cost of living. Can you take a few minutes to email your Coalition MP and let them know a strong RET means a strong Australian economy?

The Government is parroting their support for a ‘real 20%’ target, but this is a false argument – not to mention a distraction from the $4.5 billion worth of profits that dirty power companies could make if the Renewable Energy Target is cut4.

The fact is, since 2001, the Renewable Energy Target’s enabled a whopping $20 billion in investment into the Australian economy, created more than 24,000 new jobs and opened up the electricity market to increased competition and lower prices for consumers5.

In short, the Renewable Energy Target is:

    1. Strengthening our economy and creating thousands of new jobs
    1. Generating cheaper power, easing the cost of living for everyone
  1. Driving investment, jobs and innovation, and allowing Australians to go solar

In regional Victoria last week, 100 jobs were axed by one of Australia’s largest manufacturers of wind farm towers because of the Abbott government’s move to drop the Renewable Energy Target. It’s a sad indicator of what will happen if the fossil fuel lobby succeed: jobs will be lost, investment in renewables will flatline and our power bills will rise.

We know the Coalition backbench are vulnerable to this type of criticism — and if their own constituents slam them for making a cut that makes no economic sense, they could back away from the lobbying of the big power companies and start agitating for a strong renewables target.

Your local MP could be a renewables champion, but has anyone asked them to step up? Please write to them now and ask them to ensure Australia keep its renewables target strong.

Thanks for all that you do,

Paul, Lily, Kelsey and the GetUp team

PS – If the Renewable Energy Target is cut, it will be everyday Australians who pick up the bill, through increased power bills, tens of thousands of lost jobs, more carbon pollution and a damaged economy — just when we really need new, strong industries, as the mining boom ends.

You can be sure that your local MP is watching this issue closely. They urgently need to hear from you and why you support a strong Renewable Energy Target. Can you write to your MP and ask them to step up to save the 41,000GWh Renewable Energy Target?

[1] Ian MacFarlane defends proposed cut to renewable energy target, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 2014.
[2] Why we need the Renewable Energy Target, Clean Energy Council, 2014.
[3] Big power company profits – the real outcome of any changes to the Renewable Energy Target, The Climate Institute, 18 August 2014.
[4] AGL Energy Calls for Renewables Target to be Scrapped Completely, Renew Economy, 24 October 2014.
[5] Why we need the Renewable Energy Target, Clean Energy Council, 2014.
[6] Move to Lower Renewable Energy Target Claims 100 Jobs at Keppel Prince, The Australian, 24 October 2014.

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