Monday, May 17, 2010

Batchelor uses ETS failure to defend Hazelwood

In responding to Environment Victoria's plan to replace Hazelwood with a combination of gas-fired power, renewables and energy efficiency, energy minister Peter Batchelor has said that jobs from "cleaner energy industries" will only flow when an emissions trading scheme becomes law.

In effect, the minister is using the federal government's ETS failure to defend Australia's heaviest emitting power station. Instead that failure places an urgent obligation on Victoria to implement its own strong climate measures, as individual states have done in the absence of federal action in the United States.

Predictably, management of International Power Hazelwood has questioned the feasibility of the Environment Victoria plan, but the real question is how feasible it is to continue the massive emissions of Hazelwood as the world approaches climate tipping points that loom closer with emerging science.

James Hansen, the world's leading climate scientist, considers it essential to leave remaining coal reserves in the ground unless emissions from burning coal are captured as of now. With carbon capture and storage a distant and unproven prospect at best, and with realistic renewable strategies at hand that will save emissions and yield thousands of jobs, the choice is clear.

Victorians must reject the coal lobby's notion that a switch to renewables means they will not be able to switch on their lights - a realistic transition period is possible in a timeframe that will contribute strongly to a safe climate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are most welcome on any of the posts at Northcote Independent. I encourage feedback - positive or negative. Feel free to disagree, but remember that posts are moderated to ensure they are on the topic and in the spirit of open debate, as outlined in my editorial policy.