The long awaited draft energy white paper is a blast from the past and proves Einstein was right when he said that you cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them, Christine Milne, Australian Greens Climate Change and Energy spokesperson said today.
"The same thinking that has seen Australia stuck with electricity from coal fired generation and export income dominated by coal and gas in an age of accelerating climate change, is behind this report which is premised on a business as usual fossil fuel future.
"This draft report needs a total rewrite to be consistent with Australia's global pledge to constrain global warming to less than 2 degrees and to give Australia a chance to become internationally competitive in a low carbon economy.
"A day after the Prime Minister expanded Minister Combet's portfolios to incorporate Industry and Innovation with Climate Change and Energy Efficiency because of Australia's change of direction towards a low carbon future , Minister Martin Ferguson has made it clear that he intends to keep Australia on its backward and risky "business as usual" path of coal, gas and uranium.
"Climate and energy policy are on a direct collision course.
"It is disgraceful that the report actually misrepresents the latest International Energy Agency report by suggesting that the two are consistent.
"In fact the IEA report says that if the world continues with business as usual energy production from fossil fuels then by 2017, there will be so much fossil fuel infrastructure built that it will consume the entire carbon budget consistent with a 2 degree outcome right out to 2035 and that any new infrastructure built after 2017 will have to be ZERO emissions.
"The misrepresentation does not stop there. The Minister's bias against renewable energy is evident throughout. The figures the paper cites on the cost of solar are out by a factor of at least two or three.
"Australian's will also be angry that the Government today announced its intention not to introduce new standards for coal fired power plants and removes any need to demonstrate carbon capture and storage readiness.
"While it is expected that no new commercial coal fired power stations will be built, as a result of the carbon price, it would have been prudent to include stringent standards as a performance marker.
"The report fails to take account of peak oil and does not recognise the risks to the supply chain for petroleum fuels.
"The report also talks up nuclear whilst talking down renewable energy sources. It fails to address the fact that billions of dollars are spent each year on fossil fuel subsidies whilst paying lip service to the need for vigorous electricity market reform and a fair price to enable renewable energy to be rolled out quickly and at scale.
"The community must engage this report and see that it is rewritten in the nation's best interest or it will undermine the Clean Energy Future that the overwhelming majority of Australians want."