Emotional heat and light on renewables Trumping an informed energy debate

MEDIA RELEASE for immediate release: 13 February, 2017

Peak conservation group Queensland Conservation Council has called for an urgent injection of rational discussion on climate action, rather than continuing with the emotional heat and light around renewables that we have seen rekindled in Queensland and nationally. 

Despite the overwhelming body of scientific analysis about the realities of climate change, and the impacts it is already having being abundantly evident in the form of record temperatures and huge wildfires across Australia, the Queensland Conservation Council is disappointed that current political and public debates about energy appear completely divorced from an informed focus on how to tackle climate change.

“The broad community expects our politicians to base policy on the evidence and on rational analysis”, said Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig.

“Sadly, what’s most evident right now is that emotional heat and light debate about renewable energy is trumping what ought to be an informed, science-based rational discussion on climate action.

“We appear to have too many ‘Neros’ in our political system: happy to ignore reality while our ‘Rome’ burns…quite literally in some places.

“Australia’s energy debate has once again descended into a political dog-fight, which helps no-one other than existing interests connected to dirty traditional power generation.

“If Queensland and the rest of Australia are to avoid more catastrophic climate change, which will directly threaten the natural environment, the economy and our lifestyles, then we all need to get serious about climate action.

“The case is clear about the need to shift to renewable energy as a way of reducing carbon emissions and building domestic energy securing for the long term.

“The economics are also clear that the longer we delay swift action on energy transformation, the more painful and costly it may become.  The market will likely make it inevitable, but we are holding back vital long term investment while we keep on fiddling and fighting.

“Even in the short term, we need to recognise that power prices have been rising without the rapid expansion of renewables. The truth is that the national energy market and national energy policy are what’s broken, not renewable energy.

 “Queensland is the Sunshine State, and it should seek to become the Sun-Powered State as rapidly as possible.  Ambitious but achievable targets, locked in through legislation to secure investment and demonstrate commitment to the future, will make this happen.

“The aim of 50% Renewable Energy by 2030 in Queensland won’t be easy, but it has been backed by a group of independent experts, and it needs the support of all sides of politics.

“This is our ‘Man on the Moon’ aspirational moment, and we need it to reach our potential. Let’s not waste the moment in emotional heat and light.”

For further information or comment contact:

Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183