Another blockage removed from RET negotiations. But biomass still a deal breaker.

Friends of the Earth release. May 18, 2015.

The year long standoff between the Coalition and the renewable energy sector is finally over, with common sense prevailing, and the Coalition withdrawing its demand for regular reviews of the target.

It is tragic that so many jobs and so much investment has been been lost while the Coalition continued to put its ideological opposition to renewables ahead of sound economic policy” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “But a deal is a deal, and we welcome the fact that Ian Macfarlane and other Coalition negotiators finally compromised on their position”.

However, while the concerns of the renewables sector have been considered, the Coalition's resistance to taking biomass out of the deal has created a whole new range of problems. Including biomass in the RET will undermine the uptake of true renewables like wind and solar, and further entrench destructive forestry operations. The Greens and ALP have made it clear they will oppose the addition of biomass in the new target, and only a handful of crossbench Senators seem willing to back the continued destruction of our precious native forests".

"We hope that the Coalition will listen to common sense and remove biomass from the target by the time the amended legislation gets to parliament”.

While everyone is glad to see the end of the uncertainty, we should remember that it was the intransigence of the federal Coalition which caused this mess in the first place. Cutting the RET to 33,000GWh is still a major backwards step for our country. The renewables industry has been brought to the brink of collapse because of the extreme opinions of key players in the Coalition government, and this reduced target will mean fewer jobs and less investment in regional Australia, and less action on climate change than the original target”.

Further comment. Cam Walker 0419 338 047.