RET Watch: Target a matter of urgency

Researchers present highly efficient solar cellsThe Renewable Energy Target is the central plank of national renewable energy policy. The successful scheme is driving the transformation of Australia’s energy sector while creating jobs and investment.

Friends of the Earth’s campaigns coordinator, Cam Walker, went into bat for the Renewable Energy Target with a letter to the editor published by The Bendigo Advertiser:

THE news that more than 2000 jobs have been lost in the renewable energy sector highlights what happens when ideology is put above the good of the nation.

Here in central Victoria we have already felt the negative impacts of this approach to developing policy, when the previous state Coalition government created large No Go Zones for wind energy, effectively stopping the development of the industry across the state.

The beauty of renewable energy is that it shares jobs and investment around regions, provides drought proof income to farmers who host wind turbines, and is an essential part of the transition towards low carbon energy.

The current Renewable Energy Target that requires at least 20 per cent of Australia’s energy (41 TWh) to come from renewable energy sources is only the start of the required transition if we are to play our part in the global efforts to limit the effects of climate change.

The fact that many business groups have agreed to accept a compromise underscores how desperate the situation is, as jobs and investment are lost because of the prolonged uncertainty about what will happen to the target. Yet the federal government still refuses to budge from its very low offer of a new RET.

This seems to show that the personal opposition to renewables of a number of key Coalition MPs is overriding the need for certainty.

The government would be wise to remember that opinion polling shows a clear majority of people want to see more renewable energy, not less. They need to swallow their pride and come to the negotiating table as a matter of urgency.

CAM WALKER, Friends of the Earth

If you want a renewable energy-powered future for Australia, here are a few simple actions you can take to support the Renewable Energy Target.


  • Sign our petition calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to keep his election promise and maintain the national Renewable Energy Target as it stands.
  • Help us get climate change and renewables on the agenda of the Australian Labor Party’s national conference. Add your name to our open letter to opposition leader Bill Shorten.
  • Support our campaign by getting involved or making a donation.
  • Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

One thought on “RET Watch: Target a matter of urgency

  1. I think we should all stop trying to fit in with these idiot governments. If the farmers have a choice of wind or fracking – it’s a no brainer. The negotiating table is out, because we just don’t have the time. It’s time to shut down the fossil fuel industry using NVDA and divestment. If we don’t change to renewables ASAP it will be back to horses, woodfires and oil lamps for Australia when the global economy crashes.

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