I have just written the following letter to the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, entitled: The National Electricity Objective, the National Electricity Market and Renewable Energy Policy. This is in response to the Climate Commission’s Report, “Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat”. Please have a read and consider emailing the Honourable Minister a similar message.
Greetings Minister Ferguson,
As an Australian citizen deeply concerned about the reality of global warming, climate change and effects on our country of increased catastrophic weather events I wish to bring to your attention the fact that the National Electricity Objective, by which all National Electricity Market policy is measured, does NOT include environmental concerns.
The fact that this has not been a question on policymakers’ minds beggars belief now that the Federal Government’s Climate Commission report, Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat, warns of more extreme bushfires and hotter, longer, bigger and more frequent heatwaves, due to climate change.
The link between electricity and our deteriorating weather patterns is Australia’s continued reliance on fossil fuels that are mainly used to produce our electricity. Coal is the main culprit and, very soon, environmentally destructive coal seam gas wells will continue the pattern of policy ignoring the future security of our public and environmental health. These fossil fuels produce a high rate of carbon dioxide emissions and contribute to global warming.
Minister Ferguson, I ask that you instigate a reframing of the National Electricity Objective to include environmental concerns to protect Australia’s long term national interests, in particular our environmental and public health security.
In addition, I ask that you look more deeply into the necessary transition from our dependance on fossil fuels to renewable energy as a medium term objective. Jobs will not be lost if a visionary government decides to lead the change to renewables with appropriate incentives. Currently the Australian Government gives subsidies and grants of around $8 billion to fossil fuels based industries. Remove those and give them to the renewable energy industry and I’m sure the cost inequities attributed to renewables will largely disappear as the ‘leg up’ that is continuing to be given to the polluting fossil fuel industry is finally amputated.
Of course, I know that there are legal impediments to an overnight change of policy. However, with the Federal election coming up later this year, you now have the opportunity to set the frame work for a visionary renewable energy policy for Australia that will transform it into the envy of the world. Will you take up this challenge?