On Friday May 30, Friends of the Earth took a principled stand against the flawed Warburton Review of the Renewable Energy Target. Shaun Murray and Leigh Ewbank walked out of a meeting with the Warburton Review after receiving inadequate responses to questions about the process.
Friends of the Earth wasn’t the only group in the room last Friday. The Australian Youth Climate Coalition and the Australian Wind Alliance were there too. And they share our concern that the Warburton Review is loading the dice against renewable energy.
“Many of the people I represent would sympathise with the frustration felt by Friends of the Earth representatives,” said Andrew Bray, National Coordinator of the Australian Wind Alliance.
“Though the RET review’s terms of reference state it must examine the social impacts of the RET, there are no plans to model the social benefits that wind farms bring to regional economies to guide its recommendations.”
“With hundreds of our members making individual submissions to highlight the social and local economic benefits of the RET to date, we can only hope that the voices of rural people will be heard.
Phoebe Howe from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition left the meeting concerned that widespread support of renewable energy in Australia’s communities may not be factored into the review.
“Our supporters have been out in communities across the country talking about our Safe Climate Roadmap campaign since the Summer,” said Phoebe Howe. “We’ve had 10,000 conversations with individuals who agree that 100 per cent renewable energy within ten years should be the priority for our government.”
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition suggests the Warburton Review should be considering a more ambitious scenario for rolling out renewable energy.
“To see no evidence that the Review is exploring an increase to the RET, but only reductions to the target have so far been discussed, suggests that community support for renewable energy is being ignored,” said Howe.
“We can understand the frustration felt by Friends of the Earth, who outlined the road trip they have taken to communities dealing with the reality of transitioning to renewable energy. Young Australians want to see more investment in renewable energy, not less, to protect our future from the impacts of climate change and give us jobs that we know will benefit society rather than damage it.”
“Cutting renewable energy puts the future of young Australians studying for a job in renewable energy at risk and puts the future of all young Australians at risk by taking away our most effective measure to tackle climate change,” Howe concluded.
- If you support more renewable energy for Australia, sign our petition calling on PM Tony Abbott to protect the Renewable Energy Target.
- Support the Protect the RET petition in your community. A printable version is available here so you can get family, friends, colleagues and community members to sign on.
- Volunteer with Yes 2 Renewables and support our RET Review Road Trip. Contact us here to express interest.