The ‘clean energy economy’ the Treasurer is keen to talk about will not happen unless the price on carbon pollution is strong enough to begin the transition away from coal and is accompanied by a suite of measures to see renewable energy power plants built, the Australian Greens said today.

Extracts from Treasury modelling selectively released by the government in recent days show that a price on pollution alone will not drive sufficient growth in renewable energy over coming decades.

“While I am yet to see the full modelling, it clearly confirms the view of experts around the world – that to drive a boom in renewable energy, we need to do more than put a price on pollution,” Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said

“The Greens have always argued that, to build the kind of industrial-scale solar power stations here in Australia that are being built in Europe and America, we need direct support through independent investment, feed-in tariffs, loan guarantees or some combination of these.

“We will continue to work hard in the Multi-Party Climate Committee to make sure that the final package drives renewable energy to power far more of Australia than the selected leaks from the Treasury modelling project.

“It is pleasing to hear the Treasurer acknowledge that many European countries directly support renewable energy alongside their participation in the EU emissions trading scheme.

“It is also pleasing that the Treasurer acknowledges India’s energy efficiency target scheme. The Greens have long called for such a scheme in Australia and hold out hope that the government will move on this important reform.

“Whereas the government framed the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme as a silver bullet, it would have done nothing to drive investment in renewables.

“The opportunity that now presents itself is to create a package which will put a price on pollution, drive a renewable energy boom and invest in carbon in the landscape.”

Listen to Christine Milne:

Audio of Senator Milne’s doorstop in Hobart is here:

http://greensmps.org.au/content/greencast/milne-press-conference-soldiers-death-afghanistan-and-pricing-pollution

Topics discussed include:

• Death of another young Australian soldier in Afghanistan;
• Treasurer Swan’s National Press Club speech;
• The popularity of renewable energy;
• The need for more than a price on pollution to drive renewable energy.