Biased Renewable Energy Target review panel has no credibility says Tim Flannery

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Recommendations on the future of the Renewable Energy Target from a controversial review panel with vested fossil fuel interests shouldn’t be taken seriously says the Climate Council.

“The biased review panel unsurprisingly recommends phasing out or abolishing the small and large scale targets which threaten the strangle hold of highly polluting coal and gas producers,” said Climate Councillor Tim Flannery.

“Well I can tell you who does like renewable energy - the 10% of Australians who generate their energy from their solar panels and the 21,000 people who have good Australian jobs in renewable energy. They will all be gravely disappointed by this flawed process.”

“For a panel led by someone that has a lack of understanding of the scientific basis of climate change the results are hardly surprising.”

“Clearly the process has been highly flawed. There was already an independent body tasked with reviewing the Renewable Energy Target, the Climate Change Authority. Unfortunately a Panel was convened with a number of people with a well-known history of working closely with the fossil fuel industry.”

“It is crucial that reviews like this are independent and at arms length from those with a vested interest. The public cannot have confidence in this process as vested interests are simply too close to it.”

The panel was led by self-described climate skeptic and former Director of Caltex Dick Warburton.

“The uncertainty in the energy market that has been brought on by this process is preventing investment in Australia’s energy future. It’s lamentable that over the last year or so most of the large scale investment in renewable energy has dried up,” said Prof Flannery.

The Renewable Energy Target is an enduring part of Australia’s energy policy surviving five election cycles. Renewable energy targets are used by 140 countries around the world to grow renewable energy.

“The Renewable Energy Target has helped enable over 1 million homes to put solar on their roofs, reducing their bills, employing Australians and helping the environment. It would be a great shame if it were wound back in any way,” said Prof Flannery.

“How can the government take advice on renewable energy from panel members who’ve worked for the fossil fuel industry.”

“The RET review has been a poor process with no credible outcomes. It will only lead to more uncertainty for the future of Australia’s energy.”

Read the review here.

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