Senate approves renewable energy target
The Senate has passed the Federal Government’s renewable energy target legislation.
The Government split the legislation from its emissions trading scheme and negotiated more industry compensation with the Coalition to secure support for the bill.
Under the new target, 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity will have to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020.
The Nationals were unsuccessful in their bid to get compensation for food-processing industries and the Greens’ effort to have the target raised to 30 per cent also failed.
Greens Senator Bob Brown says the legislation could have been better.
“It ought to have had better opportunities for regional and rural Australia,” he said.
“It ought not have been a further big handout to the big polluters but it will be.”
Meanwhile, Greens deputy leader Christine Milne says the bill’s passing is a clear sign the Government will be willing to weaken its emissions trading scheme to get it through the Senate.
“Go to the minister with amendments that brown down the scheme, that shore up the Labor vote in their coal electorates, and they go ‘yes’,” she said.
“Take amendments to the minister that actually drive the expansion of renewable energy and the zero-carbon future and it’s all too hard and it can’t be done.”
Assistant Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says the Coalition must now pass the emissions trading scheme.
“It is critical to have the CPRS legislation passed through this Parliament and it is critical for the Coalition to stand up in the national interest,” he said.