Open letter to PM Malcolm Turnbull: Show leadership and stop attacks on renewable energy

Friends of the Earth has called on PM Malcolm Turnbull to stop political attacks on state climate and energy policy leadership in an open letter hand-delivered to the PM’s Sydney office today.

The open letter – signed by ACT Commissioner for Sustainability Kate Auty, meteorologist Rob Gell, and over 800 community members – rebukes the fossil fuel lobby’s opportunistic attacks on South Australia’s renewable energy leadership:

In July, fossil fuel lobbyists blamed renewable energy for a price spike caused by big energy companies gaming the market while transmission infrastructure between South Australia and Victoria was being upgraded.

In September, they blamed renewable energy for causing a statewide blackout rather than the obvious cause—a one-in-fifty year storm that damaged transmission lines.

It is trying to stall the transition of Australia’s electricity grid from one heavily reliant on polluting coal and gas generation to a modern system powered by clean renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

These attacks put jobs, investment, and our climate at risk.

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Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said it is time for PM Malcolm Turnbull to show political leadership on the issue:

“State and territory governments have shown leadership on climate change and renewable energy in the absence of Federal government policy,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“PM Malcolm Turnbull can show leadership by reining in hot-headed MPs who parrot the fossil fuel lobby’s anti-renewables spin.”

“We know which direction the world is moving, and it’s towards clean renewable energy sources.”

“It’s time to end the blame game and back the community’s vision of a renewable energy powered future.

Friends of the Earth urges state and federal policymakers to spearhead an energy storage plan for South Australia to increase electricity system’s resilience to climate change impacts and storms.

“Rolling out renewables with energy storage is a policy priority for South Australia,” said Leigh Ewbank.

“If politicians are serious about the South Australia’s energy future, they will back the construction of 24-hour solar power in Port Augusta and the rollout of household energy storage.”

“South Australia needs more support for renewable energy, and storage is something all South Australian households and businesses deserve.”

* Thanks to GetUp!, Solar Citizens, Repower Port Augusta, among others who supported the open letter. 

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