On behalf of my community I present a petition signed by 313 members of the community calling on the Abbott government not to abandon the renewable energy target and to continue to ensure that Australia promotes investment in renewable energy. CLICK HERE to sign the Save the RET Petition
Overwhelmingly, scientific evidence demonstrates that climate change is occurring. If we are going to reduce its impact, we must reduce our reliance on predominantly fossil fuel based energy. Based on the advice we are receiving from climate scientists we have a moral obligation to promote policies that encourage a transition to a cleaner energy mix in Australia.
I have two young children and, like any parent, I want to pass on a better Australia to them. But I cannot in good conscience promote policies that do not promote renewable energy use in Australia. Based on what we know, we have an obligation to future generations to act now, to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The renewable energy target was fulfilling that obligation. The renewable energy target has facilitated $20 billion in new investment in large-scale renewable energy and billions of dollars in investment in small household solar panels and solar hot water. That investment is growing. In 2012 the renewable energy industry employed 24,000 Australians. These are high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future—jobs that we need to be promoting within Australia.
Other nations are investing heavily in renewable energy, in particular our closest trading partner, China. They are on a path to future economic development. The jobs of the future are going to be in the transition from an industrial based society to a clean energy society. Australia must ensure that we do not miss this opportunity.
The renewable energy target is a policy mix that ensures that we make that transition in a clean and effective manner.
A recent report by ROAM Consulting, prepared for the Clean Energy Council, also indicated that if the renewable energy target is abandoned then households will pay $50 more for their electricity in 2020 if the RET is dumped. That is because fewer renewables will mean a need for more gas and the price of gas over the next decade is set to triple. Also, cutting the RET will mean less competition and less competition means higher prices.
So we are calling on the Abbott government to ensure that we maintain the renewable energy target for the future of Australia, to ensure that we make that transition to a clean energy future. The message of our community is: do not dump the renewable energy target.