As Australia heads to Paris to negotiate a global climate agreement, the Greens have released a roadmap to double energy efficiency and get to 90 per cent renewables by 2030.
The Renew Australia plan, launched on Sunday, would see the creation of a new $500 million government authority, RenewAustralia, which would create a 15-year pipeline of clean energy projects to be funded by reverse auctions and direct investment.
The Greens called the body the “final link in our chain of innovation”, which included the clean energy bodies spearheaded by the party under the former Labor Gillard government – the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
“The CSIRO works with public and private researchers to prove innovative ideas that work. ARENA then invests to bring ideas to a commercial stage of development. The CEFC breaks down the barriers for financing these new commercially proven projects and now RenewAustralia can deploy home-grown technologies on a large scale right around the country,” the report says.
Under the plan, by 2030 solar PV would be the most dominant energy source, followed by wind power and solar thermal. Stringent pollution standards would also be implemented to enable the staged closure of coal power plants, with a $250 million clean energy transition fund available for affected communities and coal workers.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the plan would help transition Australia’s economy away from fossil fuels and create jobs in the process.
“Transitioning to clean energy is the key to unlocking Australia’s economic potential and combating global warming. While both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten talk about tackling climate change, they have locked us into the industries of the last century, supporting coal and vested interests,” Mr Di Natale said.
“Charting a course for a more confident, prosperous and healthy Australia needs much more than empty rhetoric, it needs real leadership.”
Regarding energy efficiency the plan said doubling energy efficiency would reduce financial pressure on households, though said a detailed energy efficiency policy would be launched at a later date.
Greens deputy and spokesperson on climate change Larissa Waters used the launch to call for stronger climate action from Paris.
“Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t deserve to be applauded simply for not being Tony Abbott,” she said. “If Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t take anything stronger to the UN Climate Summit than Tony Abbott’s pathetic emissions targets then it will be a disastrous failure of leadership.”