Politician and ‘enlightened’ climate sceptic pledges to vote for Australia renewables target

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Australian coal tycoon and leader of the country’s centre-right Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, has said he will vote to protect Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

Holding a press conference yesterday with former US vice president Al Gore to outline his party’s stance on climate change policies, Palmer said his party would block ongoing attempts by the prime minister Tony Abbott’s attempts to scrap the target.

He said Palmer United would also vote to keep the Climate Change Authority (CCA) – which independently reviews policy recommendations on climate change – and support the retention of Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), which helps to secure finance for the clean energy sector.

The move represents an about-turn for Palmer, who has stakes in iron ore, nickel, oil and coal, and is the founder and chairman of Mineralogy, chairman for Queensland Nickel and China First Coal and Iron Ore and Kingsway Oil. Only recently he professed scepticism about the science of climate change.

At the press conference Palmer said: “Our ability to adapt to change and keep an open mind on issues which affect all of us is what really matters, it is not the labor way or the liberal way, it is the right way that is important to Australia and important for the world.”

The Australian Solar Council (ASC) hailed the move as an important step towards saving the RET.

The national RET target currently aims to source 20% of Australia’s power  from renewable energy, including solar, by 2020. But when Abbott took office in September 2013, he made clear his intention to drastically cut spending on climate targets and highlighted the possibility of scrapping the RET, citing high consumer energy prices as a more pressing priority.

But before being able to scrap the RET, the Abbott government must first win approval from the Australian senate, where it does not have a majority.

By uniting with the Labor and Green parties, and independent senators, Palmer United could help save the RET, the ASC said.

John Grimes, ASC chief executive, said in an email to supporters that Palmer’s support for the RET means “it is possible, perhaps probable, that the RET will not be changed prior to the federal election in 2016”.

“This gives the solar industry a degree of certainty for at least that short time,” he wrote.

“We know the government is determined to slash the RET and 2016 is not that far away. The RET Review continues until the Government ends the sham. We will remain vigilant on any push to cut the RET.”

Gore’s support

Palmer met Gore at his Parliament House office, following the meeting with a joint press conference, in which Palmer praised Al Gore and his actions on climate change.

Palmer then told ABC Lateline that Al Gore had “enlightened” him, after Palmer had previously denied climate science. Palmer said Al Gore had approached him to talk about climate change. “We can’t put our head in the sand if this is a global issue,” Palmer said.

“Australia acting alone cannot change the world, and change the world we must,” Palmer said at the press conference.

Gore was in Australia as part of the non profit environmental activism and awareness group he founded, ‘Climate Reality’.

Gore said the conference is an “extraordinary moment in which Australia, the US, and the rest of the world is finally beginning to confront the climate crisis in a meaningful way”.

22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.
19 October 2021
This year’s EV World Congress will hold a special role, not only as the first live EverythingEV event in over a year – a chance to renew your connections and re-engage with the EV sector face to face – but also as a chance to share insight and inspiration as world starts to look towards move on post COVID towards hitting ambitious decarbonisation goals in 2030 and beyond. As ever, we will be bringing world leading organisations, cities, and technology providers to the UK to inspire EV innovators, and delve into the challenges facing the sector as the UK looks to revolutionise road transport.

Read Next

September 17, 2021
BP, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Masdar have partnered up to develop low carbon hydrogen hubs and create decarbonised air travel corridors between the UK and UAE in a deal that will see “billions” of dollars of investment.
September 17, 2021
US utility company Dominion Energy Virginia has proposed 15 new energy projects totalling 1GW of power for the state, which Dominion Energy claimed was the largest group of projects to be submitted to the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)
September 17, 2021
Renewables developer Ørsted has promoted Neil O'Donovan to CEO of its onshore business unit following the resignation of his predecessor in August.
September 17, 2021
A 58.5MW floating PV plant in Thailand, said to be the largest install of its kind in the country, has been connected to the grid, according to inverter and floating solutions supplier Sungrow.
PV Tech Premium
September 17, 2021
PV Tech spoke to investors and analysts about why Brazil is fast becoming an attractive market for solar investment.
September 16, 2021
Vistra Energy has welcomed the enactment of clean energy policies in Illinois which the power generation company said will support 300MW of solar and 150MW of battery storage to be built at nine of its coal plant sites. 

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021