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Australia’s Opposition to Ditch Emissions Goal If Elected to Power

Australia’s main opposition Liberal Party will not pretend that the current target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is achievable and will not pursue the current government’s emissions goal for 2030 if elected, a senior Liberal Party official has said.

“Australia needs a sensible energy policy which delivers cheaper, cleaner and consistent 24/7 electricity, and that’s what the Coalition will deliver,” Ted O’Brien, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy of the Liberal-National coalition, said this week.

“We won’t be pretending Labor’s 2030 target is achievable,” O’Brien added.

The ruling Labor government in Australia has a target to have 82% renewable power generation by 2030 and reduce emissions by 43% until then.

According to the Liberals’ O’Brien, Australia’s greenhouse gas emission reductions have flatlined in recent years and still remain at 29% below 2005 levels, “despite Labor increasing Australia’s emissions reduction target to 43 percent by 2030.”

The 82% renewables in power generation by 2030 is a centerpiece of Labor’s plans, but this requires 4.5 gigawatts (GW) of additional industrial-scale wind and solar to be installed every year.

Last year, less than one-third of this was delivered, O’Brien noted.

“Undeterred, Labor is forcing the closure of 90 percent of our 24/7 baseload power within a decade – closing one system before another is ready,” he said.

“Australians now pay among the world’s highest electricity bills and the market operator warns of blackouts as early as summer, affecting hospitals, schools, businesses and homes.”

Last week, industry body Clean Energy Council said that investment in renewable energy projects needs to jump every year for Australia to meet the government’s 2030 clean energy target.  

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Investment levels in generation projects will need to increase further with financial commitments of at least 6 - 7 GW of new large-scale generation projects needed this year and in each successive year, to meet the target of 82% renewable power generation by 2030, the Clean Energy Council said. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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