Malcolm Turnbull is facing the biggest challenge to his Prime Ministership, which marks two years tomorrow, with between five and 10 Coalition MPs thinking about crossing the floor and voting against any new or remodeled renewable energy scheme. As the debate about the future of energy policy rages, former prime minister Tony Abbott has been doing the rounds of his colleagues in a bid to get support for dumping all government funding for renewables. Last weekend, the Nationals adopted a policy to dismiss the last recommendation of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s report calling for a clean energy target. —Dennis Atkins, The Courier-Mail, 13 September 2017
Malcolm Turnbull is staring down coalition backbenchers concerned that a proposed clean energy target could push up power prices and undermine coal-fired power. MPs concerned about the power bill impact of the policy proposed in a report by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel have been emboldened by last week’s Nationals conference passing a motion opposed to a clean energy target and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s push to wind back renewable energy subsidies. Mr Abbott will double down on his position in delivering a speech, entitled Daring to Doubt, to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation on October 9. —The West Australian, 13 September 2017
Tony Abbott has come up with a new slogan on energy policy, calling for a “100 per cent reliable energy target”. Mr Abbott said he welcomed signs from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the government is moving away from a clean energy target to a reliable energy target. “Frankly nothing less than a 100 per cent reliable energy target will do because we’ve got to keep the lights on all the time,” Mr Abbott told 2GB. Mr Abbott said he did not want to see any subsidies for energy production, including for coal. —The Australian, 14 September 2017
The crisis in Australia’s electricity market, the result of years of costly and defective intervention by federal and state governments, is only now getting the attention it deserves. We have gone from having close to the cheapest electricity in the world to among the most expensive. We have all the feeder stock we need — coal, gas and uranium — yet electricity prices have doubled in a decade. –Judith Sloan, The Australian, 9 September 2017
Germany is on course to spectacularly miss its 2020 climate target, according to a new study by think thank Agora Energiewende. Germany has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. But Agora calculates that without drastic new measures, the country will be looking at a reduction of just 30 and 31 percent. The think tank said Germany was jeopardizing its reputation as a leader in the global fight against climate change. Graichen said US President Donald Trump, who found himself isolated at the G20 summit in June over his resistance to climate protection measures, would “be glad to rub our noses in” Germany’s failure. —Deutsche Welle, 8 September
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