PM faces party pressure over energy target

  • PM faces party pressure over energy target

PM faces party pressure over energy target

The former prime minister Tony Abbott - who was a vocal participant in the special party room meeting, and floated the desirability of the government buying the Hazelwood power station - continued his public critique of the Finkel review on Wednesday afternoon.

With Mr. Abbott leading a determined group of MPs who believe the government should either do nothing at all or adopt a scheme giving so-called clean coal equal treatment to renewable energy, Senior Liberals said Mr. Turnbull can not risk losing control of the policy process to his nemesis.

Nationals MP George Christensen says he won't vote for the Clean Energy Target (CET) unless it has included an incentive for coal.

The second reason a price signal will bring prices down is that it will accelerate the building of small scale, "distributed power".

In late November 2009, Turnbull survived a failed leadership challenge and seven-hour Coalition party room meeting about climate change to assert the Coalition would continue to negotiate with the government for an emissions trading scheme. Mr. Turnbull has been weakened and Australians are the loser.

Thornton said the clean energy industry welcomed the proposal for a clean energy target and believes this could deliver much-needed investor confidence, noting there is a range of detailed design considerations that would need thorough investigation and consultation.

Mr. Abbott told the meeting that Australia had a huge natural energy advantage and that it should make the most of it.

"Permission is not decided by the clean energy target at all", Dr. Finkel told The Australian on Monday. Even so, this is unlikely to placate all the backbench rebels and also runs the risk of Labor withdrawing its offer of bipartisan support because it can not accept a policy that designates coal as a clean emissions source.

The hotly anticipated "Finkel Review" advised the government on the entire power market.

"Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly, Eric Abetz, a growing list of very senior Liberals seem created to undermine this process before it begins, (and) Malcolm Turnbull simply has to bring them into line".

"More of the same is not an option, we need to aim higher", Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, the head of the review panel, said in a statement.

Generators would receive certificates for the proportion of electricity produced below that emissions level, which could then be traded.

One of the great surprises in the climate action debate recently has been the plummeting cost of renewable power and storage devices - a central theme in last week's report into the 'Future Security of the National Electricity Market'. These MPs have expressed concern that the CET will disadvantage coal.

Ian Lowe, an energy policy specialist at Griffith University in Nathan, near Brisbane, backs the need to set a clean energy target but is disappointed by the timetable for a transition to clean energy.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said it was a good discussion but he rejected Mr. Abbott's claim the target was a "magic pudding" and a tax on coal.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also slapped down Abbott's proposition that the CET amounted to a tax on coal, telling Sky that "Mr. Abbott's entitled to his opinion" but "there is no penalty placed on coal".

More than 20 countries have high-efficiency low emission coal-fired power stations planned or under construction.