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Greens do heavy lifting for Govt on Renewable Energy Target.

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

media release

Canberra, Wednesday 26 November 2008

Greens do heavy lifting for Govt on Renewable Energy Target

The Australian Greens will introduce a Bill into the Senate to fulfil one of the Rudd Government's key unmet election promises on climate change: lifting the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET).

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, has given notice that tomorrow morning she will introduce a Bill to amend the legislation that establishes the MRET, removing the old target and replacing it with the Government's promised targets.

“How long do Prime Minister Rudd and Senator Wong think they can dine out on a promise of lifting the renewable energy target without actually doing so?” Senator Milne asked.

“If the Government will not do what it has promised, the Greens will do it for them.

“If the Government opposes my Bill to lift the renewable energy target, they will have to explain themselves to all those Australians who thought they were voting for climate action 12 months ago.

“The Australian renewable energy industry, which thought it faced such a bright future when the Rudd Government was elected, is increasingly alarmed by 12 months of inaction.

“The momentum built up by an industry expecting significant support is now rapidly being lost. If the Government does not lift the target soon, serious damage will be done to the sector, even more jobs will be lost and investment will go offshore.

“Whilst we are assiting the Government by moving on its promised 20% target, the evidence is that Australia can build far more renewable energy far faster than this target would demand.

“That is why the Greens want a higher renewables target of 25% by 2020, supplemented by a gross feed-in tariff that will guarantee premium prices for all renewable energy generated. In that way, if the industry grows faster than the MRET assumes, the target can never act as a

cap on industry growth, as it has done in recent years.

“But, since we know that the Government will not go further than its election promise, if it even goes that far, we are moving for that step now. It is vitally important for the renewable energy industry that the Parliament immediately passes at least the commitment that Mr Rudd made before the last election - a 20% renewable energy target by 2020."

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562