RET negotiations collapse, opposition walks away

Negotiations
around the Renewable Energy Target have broken down, with uncertainty around
the sector set to continue.

The ABC and others report that Labor’s environment spokesman Mark Butler wrote to industry
minister Ian Macfarlane yesterday, telling him that Labor would abandon
negotiations around a revised RET.

Macfarlane announced three weeks ago that it planned to reduce the RET from 41,000
Gigawatt hours by 2020 to a “real 20 per cent”, equivalent to roughly 26,000.

Negotiations
with the opposition on the 2020 target – which would ideally be around the mid- to high-30 GWh range for the opposition, Fairfax notes – have been taking place since then.

“We gave it a good go,” the ABC reports Butler
as saying.

“We went to the negotiations in good faith with
the objective to try and restore a bipartisan consensus underpinning renewable
energy investment. Our positions are too far apart.”

The government has accused Labor of playing
politics rather than supporting good policy.

“And we’re a bit perplexed that they would roll
out this letter in the eve of the G20,” Macfarlane told the ABC’s PM.

The Abbott government’s approach to renewable
energy policy has been blamed by Keppel Prince for its decision to cut 100 jobs last month.

Image: http://web.mit.edu/

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