San Francisco has now joined other US cities in banning natural gas in new homes. The move is in stark contrast to the direction of energy policy in Australia, where the Morrison government seems stuck in reverse: spruiking a gas-led economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia is increasingly at risk of becoming “internationally isolated” with Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring his government will not be dictated to by other countries on energy and climate policies.
Spanish giant Iberdrola has broken ground on its 317 MW Port Augusta hybrid wind and solar farm, set to be the largest in Australia. The global energy company stressed its desire to increase its renewable presence in Australia on the day, betting on Australia’s potential for a green recovery from the economic strife of Covid-19.
Yesterday, Zali Steggall, the independent member for Warringah, introduced her long-awaited climate change bill to the Australian parliament.
Sustainability-linked debt financing is experiencing ever increasing popularity and the success of green bonds has driven other products linked to social performance and other sustainability criteria. The total volume of such investments to date passed the $2 trillion point this year.
The Clean Energy Council has lambasted the Morrison Government’s Federal Budget 2020 as a missed opportunity for a widely popular renewable recovery effort. In fact, not only has the Morrison Government failed to fund Australia’s future, it has succeeded in funding the nation’s decaying past, including money for the controversial Vales Point coal-fired power station.
The Australian Government has finally announced new long term funding and an expanded remit for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) beyond 2022. The funding package, which looks more like a cut than anything else, pushes investment away from solar and wind and toward fossil fuel enabling technologies like carbon capture and storage.
A new report from Net Zero Momentum Tracker has found that the Australian superannuation sector, which is expected to hold a majority of ASX-listed equity by 2040, is accelerating its divestment from risky greenhouse gas emitting fossil-fuels. The finding represents another disconnect between the Morrison Government’s gas fetish and investor diffidence with dying industries.
The Morrison Government has announced its plans for a gas-led recovery including an ultimatum to the private sector that if it doesn’t prop up the gas sector the Government itself would step in to build a new gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley and an expanded Australia Gas Hub in QLD. For many experts the announcement reads more like a suicide note than a recovery strategy.
After being ignored by the Federal Government, Queensland has announced a $500 million Renewable Energy Fund for state-owned energy corporations to invest in commercial renewable project and infrastructure, a particular complement to QLD’s three pending Renewable Energy Zones.
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