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Renewable Energy Target scheme must be changed

18, June 2013

Australian Environment Foundation members will join protesters from four states in a rally at parliament house Canberra today at 10am against the continuation of the costly Renewable Energy Target.

The rally will be addressed by radio broadcaster Alan Jones AO and Coalition members and senators including Craig Kelly, Ron Boswell, Alby Schultz, Chris Back as well as Senators Xenophon and Madigan.

The rally will hear how the RET has driven increases in electricity prices to the extent that some households are suffering significant ‘energy poverty’.

"Energy poverty needs to be explicitly recognised as a distinct and growing social problem for Australia's 3.5 million households, who fall into the two lowest-income sectors as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics” said Max Rheese, Australian Environment Foundation executive director who was citing a University of Sydney study.

“The Clean Energy Regulator has confirmed to us that a staggering 195 million Renewable Energy Certificates subsidised by electricity consumers, we estimate by $6.5 billion, have been issued since April 2001 with most going to large national and multi-national energy companies.

“There is no evidence that this large cost borne directly by electricity users has been of any environmental benefit” said Mr Rheese.

“Our view is that the RET is nothing more than a means to transfer wealth from households and industry to energy companies for no tangible environmental benefit.

“Grant King the managing director of one of the country’s largest energy retailers is on the public record stating that in the last five years the impact of the RET on electricity bills has risen from 2 per cent to 14 per cent.  He is expecting that the RET will be the biggest driver of price rises through to 2030.

“We are urging the Coalition to end this rort and promote reliable renewable energy that actually has an environmental benefit in a more cost-effective manner” said Mr Rheese.

                                                                      - ENDS -

The Australian Environment Foundation is a not-for-profit, membership-based environment organisation having no political affiliation.  AEF takes an evidence-based, solution focused approach to environmental issues. 

The AEF embraces the IUCN (World Conservation Union) sustainable use principles as providing an ethical balanced framework for many environmental challenges.

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