SNAP RALLY: Community members convene outside COAG to show Ministers their support for renewables

South Australia’s recent unprecedented storm and gale force winds caused power outages statewide. Anti-renewables media stories reached a high water mark after the recent event, with fossil fuel backers quick to blame renewable energy for the crisis and protect their own interests.

Calls from fossil fuel backers that renewable energy was to blame were supported by Malcolm Turnbull and the federal government. PM Malcolm Turnbull has never looked more like Tony Abbott, and is trying to re-engineer the crisis into an excuse to undermine real action on climate change and renewable energy leadership from state governments. Turnbull stated:

Now, I regret to say that a number of the state Labor Governments have over the years set priorities and renewable targets that are extremely aggressive, extremely unrealistic, and have paid little or no attention to energy security.

This is not just focused on South Australia, but the same observation can be made about Queensland or indeed Victoria.

These ideological attacks are an attempt to dismantle state based renewable energy schemes and keep Australia dependent on fossil fuels.

Whilst Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg did not endorse the Prime Minister’s comments, he did call an “emergency” COAG meeting in response to the South Australian storm.

With no national plan on climate and renewables, Environment Minister Josh Frydernberg’s “emergency” COAG meeting on Friday had a clear agenda to prevent states from adopting their own renewable energy targets and keep Australia dependent on fossil fuels.

The Daniel Andrews Government’s announcement of a VRET of 40% by 2025 has been welcomed by communities across the state. The federal government’s attacks on the scheme clearly show that they’re prepared to sacrifice jobs, investment in regional communities, and our climate to protect their own interests.

In light of this Yes 2 Renewables called a snap rally to defend renewables outside COAG so ministers could see the community are ready for renewable energy jobs, community power and practical action on climate change.

defend-renewables-coag

The rally brought together renewable energy advocates from communities across the state to call for the need to transition to a 100% renewable energy future. Together we demanded support for the VRET and other state targets that encourage the development of wind, solar, micro grids and energy storage.

With less than 18 hours notice, 25 community members rallied outside COAG to support renewable energy. The rally hosted speeches from Wendy Farmer from Voices of the Valley, Anna Boddenberg from Earthworker, Vicky Grosser a community energy advocate from Geelong and Ben Courtice from Moorabool Environment Group. Friends of the Earth’s Pat Simons stated:

The community has come out today to show there is strong support for renewable energy across Victoria.We’re calling on all parties to support initiatives that will show  leadership to grow local jobs and regional economies, as well as providing solutions to climate change.

A majority of Victorians, including coalition voters support an urgent shift to renewables.  Communities across Victoria are working hard towards smashing the VRET. Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Shadow Renewable Energy Minister David Southwick can match the community with bipartisan support for the VRET.

Yes2Renewables is ready to defend renewables, secure the VRET and grow community power throughout the state –  it’s time for all sides of government to support communities and do the same!

TAKE ACTION:

  • Email opposition leader Matthew Guy to call on the Victorian Liberal party to back the VRET. The transition to renewables ought to be above party politics.
  • Become an Active Friend – Support the Y2R campaign with a monthly donation to help us secure the VRET

 

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