Will We See Action by Turnbull on Renewable Energy and Climate Change?
Malcolm Turnbull’s arrival as PM is seen as a game-changer for Australia. However, the impact is expected to be medium to long term action rather than sudden policy shifts. While Abbott stated he supported action on climate policy, it was evident that he was playing politics.
The market for large-scale renewable energy is stagnating because Australian or foreign investors withdrew some 85% of financing after the Abbott Government drastically reduced commitment to the sector. Over recent years, there has been a lot of support by Malcolm Turnbull on renewable energy and climate change. It is clear that under the new Prime Minister the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will not be weakened further, and with time will most likely be strengthened. This result will see investors considering a return to the Australian renewable market..
As the first Environmental Minister to become Prime Minister, there is a new confidence in Malcolm Turnbull on renewable energy and climate change. During his first Parliamentary Question Time as Prime Minister, Turnbull was questioned about renewable energy and climate change and he responded saying;
… we have a set of very different measures today … that deal with reducing carbon emissions and they do so at a low cost. Labor MPs have a “ridiculous ideology about climate change” that focuses on means and not ends, he says. “It doesn’t matter how you cut emissions, so long as they are cut.”
According to corporate advisor, Paul Gilding, there is great support from Malcolm Turnbull on renewable energy and climate change. Mr Gilding went on to say, “Turnbull actually supports climate action and has long understood the economic implications of the transition required. And rather than being fearful of those implications he embraces them – seeing the inherent opportunity in a transition away from coal and towards a technology-driven transformation of the renewable energy system. The influence of this over time, on the business community and on public attitudes will be long lasting and leave a legacy for a generation.”
Industry Response to Malcolm Turnbull on Renewable Energy and Climate Change:
Nathan Dunn, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at US-based solar technology giant, Enphase Energy:
“Irrespective of Australia’s absolute environmental obligation to decarbonise the economy, the Liberal Government has two tremendous opportunities staring them in the face; The first is to reaffirm that Climate Change is not a joking matter. The second is one of huge economic importance to Australia. The solar industry’s message to Malcolm Turnbull is, don’t let it be the legacy of the Liberal Party — that they turned Australia’s back on the most significant economic growth opportunity of our time, whilst clinging desperately onto a dying resource. Solar and storage technology companies are innovating hand over fist and will continue to drive down costs at an extraordinary pace. Love or hate renewable energy – but don’t attempt to compete with it.”
John Grimes, CEO of the Australian Solar Council:
“We have always said that if we cannot change the Government’s policy, then we need to change the leader. The key question is this – will a Turnbull Government implement a strong positive solar policy? We are now seeking an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Turnbull, to determine where the new government stands on solar policy.”
Daman Cole, Managing Director for Yingli Green Energy in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific:
“Yingli Green Energy Australia is optimistic that the introduction of Mr Turnbull as Prime Minister will create some immediate positive impact for the renewable energy sector within Australia. The solar and renewable energy industry is one of the most exciting and diverse high growth sectors in the world. To ensure the solar industry remains viable for all Australians and the economy, we hope Mr Turnbull will deliver stronger leadership, policy certainty and investment confidence to ensure that the solar industry in Australia is sustainable for the future, and well positioned to regain its status as a world leader.”
Claire O’Rourke, spokesperson for Solar Citizens:
“Under Tony Abbott’s leadership the Coalition Government did its best to destroy Australian solar. We need to be sure that Mr Turnbull doesn’t follow with the same old-hat harmful and destructive policies his predecessor was so keen to pursue. With a new leader of the country we’re presented with a fresh opportunity to secure federal government support for the solar future the overwhelming majority of Australians want to see.”
Here at SAE we look forward to seeing any positive action by Malcolm Turnbull on renewable energy and climate change. Not only is it beneficial for our environment, but it will bolster an industry here in Australia that SHOULD be a global leader without the interference of politicians.
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