An Open letter to the PM

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 3.09.17 pmDear Prime Minister                                                                                                   24  March 2015

We are a diverse group of leading organisations who represent a broad cross section of people in Australia.

We, and millions of Australians, believe that powering our nation with renewable energy is common sense.

We call on you to honour your government’s pre-election commitment to keep the 2020 Renewable Energy Target at the level currently legislated, including the Large Scale Renewable Energy Target of 41,000 Gwh.

To re-instate business, investor and household confidence, we would welcome clear commitments beyond 2020 to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy.

Showing leadership on the Renewable Energy Target will be a win for jobs, for households, for our health, our economy, and our environment.

The 2020 Renewable Energy Target has strong public support. More than 88%* of Australians would like to see the Renewable Energy Target either increase or remain at the current level of 41,000 GWh. With 84% of people indicating it is important the Federal Government invest in renewable energy. Australians think it’s smart to invest in renewable energy instead of dirty coal. The Renewable Energy Target is also enabling more and more people to take control of generating their own power and managing their bills. Solar homes have grown from the hundreds to the millions in less than a decade.

The Renewable Energy Target creates sustainable jobs. The Renewable Energy Target has generated more than 24,000 jobs, and is forecast to generate tens of thousands more. People working in the 1000s of small Australian businesses installing solar panels, as well as larger businesses building and maintaining wind turbines, solar and biomass plants are at risk. Sadly, renewable energy companies have already had to lay off staff due to the government’s plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target. Maintaining and growing the Renewable Energy Target provides a solid foundation for new sustainable jobs in Australia.

The Renewable Energy Target is good for investment. The renewable energy target has been highly successful in mobilising $18.5 billion in investment. If allowed to do its job the target will double this investment to nearly $40 billion by 2020. Maintaining and strengthening Australia’s renewable energy target sends a strong signal to industry that Australia is a safe place to invest. It shows that Australia is open for business in one of the world’s fastest growing sectors.

The Renewable Energy Target cuts pollution. The Renewable Energy Target is currently the only mechanism for driving investment in renewable power and cutting carbon pollution in the power sector. Carbon pollution is contributing to global warming and air quality-related illnesses. Keeping the current 2020 Renewable Energy Target will help retire old inefficient coal-power and make room for clean renewable energy. If the Renewable Energy Target is cut, carbon pollution would increase and the Government would need to purchase additional abatement through the federal budget, via the Emissions Reduction Fund, putting even more pressure on the Budget bottom line.

Any adjustments to the Renewable Energy Target would need to strengthen rather than weaken the ability to provide a stable long-term outlook for investors, workers, households, and Australia’s pollution reduction efforts.

A strong Renewable Energy Target is an investment in Australia’s future.

* ReachTEL poll of 5,036 residents across Australia on the evening of 26 November 2014

“Powering Australia with renewable energy is common sense”