Aussie Authorities: “we don’t want a [carbon] worth as a result of renewables are too low-cost”

Aussie Government: “we don’t need a [carbon] price because renewables are too cheap”

According to The Guardian, the Australian Government is “more concerned with the impact of short term electricity price rises on a small number of highly energy-intensive manufacturers” than solving the climate crisis.

Our world is facing irreversible destruction – and still there’s no urgency in Australian climate policy

Lenore Taylor
Mon 5 Oct 2020 17.00 AEDT

For Australians, the national trauma of fires burning through 18 million hectares of bushland earlier this year is raw and ongoing. But since then the US west coast and Siberia have also burned. China,Bangladesh, India and parts of Africa have suffered catastrophic flooding. Death Valley recorded possibly the highest ever temperature on Earth, at 54.4C. In February the Antarctic temperature rose above 20C for the first time. In March the Great Barrier Reef suffered its third mass bleaching in five years. In June it was 38C inside the Arctic Circle.

None of these events can be attributed entirely to global heating, but scientists are clear that their frequency and ferocity are signs of impending climate catastrophe, of irreversible destruction. What they have warned of for decades is coming to pass.

But there’s still nothing urgent about Australia’s policies on climate and energy. We persist with the great pretence that we can continue to power industry and manufacturing with our abundant fossil fuels, ambling along with plans for a “transition” at some unspecified future time.

But federal policy appears more concerned with the impact of short term electricity price rises on a small number of highly energy-intensive manufacturers, businesses the Grattan Institute calculated between them employ about 1,000 people.

As energy analyst Tristan Edis wrote in Guardian Australia recently, this government used to argue against a carbon price because renewable technologies were too expensive. Now that solar and wind are clearly the cheapest means of new electricity generation, they say we don’t need a price because renewables are too cheap. Instead they insist we need government-funded research into other technologies, ones that might reduce the emissions from continued use of fossil fuels, to some extent, some day.

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I don’t understand why The Guardian author Lenore Taylor is complaining.

The Aussie government is right. If Solar and Wind are the cheapest form of energy, they no longer need government assistance. A rapid transition will occur without further government intervention, driven by the self interest of investors.

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