The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
18 June 2004
The Prime Minister's White Paper on energy and the environment provides the biggest boost in years for renewable energy technologies and it does this without dampening economic growth and imposing heavy costs on families and businesses.
Calls for increased requirements for the compulsory acquisition of renewable power and for new multi-billion dollar subsidies for companies in some renewable sectors have no serious justification, and would raise electricity prices for all families and businesses. They are not needed either to enable Australia to reach its Kyoto target or to position itself for longer-term greenhouse gas abatement.
As a result of the Howard Government's policies, Australia is already one of the few developed countries which is on track to reach its Kyoto target for greenhouse gas abatement.
A five per cent target for compulsory renewable energy purchases would cost $11.5 billion in lost economic growth.
The decoupling of economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions is already well underway. Since 1990, the economy has grown 47 per cent but greenhouse gas emissions have only increased 1.3 per cent.
The Prime Minister's White Paper positions Australia superbly to choose between a range of low emission technologies when we face requirements for more substantial reductions in greenhouse gases in the future.