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Ferguson's fossilised fingerprints all over Energy White Paper



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Thursday 8 November 2012 Ferguson's fossilised fingerprints all over Energy White Paper "Martin Ferguson has been dragged out of his comfort zone here, but his dirty fingerprints are all over the White Paper," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said. "Primarily, the White Paper confirms that renewable energy can power all of Australia within decades, a reality being modelled by AEMO thanks to the Greens' carbon price negotiations - but has been shunted aside here with a dash for gas and a vision of fossil-fuels still polluting our atmosphere out to 2050 and beyond. "The failure of the paper to recognise that China in particular is moving away from coal is a major failing. Just last week Professor Ross Garnaut said the ‘awful reality’ is there has been wasteful over-investment in thermal coal mining and export capacity. As China moves towards renewable energy, Australia’s investment in coal export infrastructure will lead to stranded ‘white elephant’ assets - a multi-billion dollar mistake. “In the dash for gas, the paper calls for environmental regulations to be ‘streamlined’ - risking grave and irreversible damage to our fertile land and fresh water supplies.” “Gas, which is projected to double in price over the next decade, is a threat to affordable electricity in Australia.” “Renewable energy has no fuel costs, it provides a natural hedge against international price volatility, and the latest cost projections by the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics found wind will be cheaper than coal and gas by 2020, and large-scale solar PV will be cheaper than coal and gas by 2030.” “The Government should be accelerating the development of renewable energy to address climate change and affordable energy security”. "We are on the cusp of a clean energy revolution, much like occurred in telecommunications, and when COAG meets in December they should implement the welcome recommendations to sweep away the regulatory barriers and establish a national framework for a fair price and connection process for distributed energy." “The Government cannot say it is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and yet welcome a fossil fuel export industry. Pollution does not stop at borders and global warming is a global problem. If we are to stop climate change and secure a healthy future for our children we need move away from fossil fuels and get serious about becoming a clean energy power house.” Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562