Tony Abbott Snubs International Renewable Energy Conference

Posted 29th January 2015 by Stephanie Stefanovic

Tony Abbott can't be any clearer with his latest anti-solar moves. The Prime Minister has reasserted his stance on renewable energy by neglecting to send Australia's energy minister to an important annual renewable energy conference.

In an act of defiance and in a clear attempt to reassert his stance on renewable energy, Tony Abbott refused to send Australia's energy minister to the annual conference of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) earlier this month. Abbott chose instead to send a member of the embassy staff, echoing the decision he made regarding the Warsaw climate change talks in late 2013.

IRENA director-general Adnan Amin expressed his disappointment and stated, “We are still hopeful that the rational business case that renewables present will make sense to Australia. There are enough people making money in Australia who have an interest in growing renewables and there is enough interest in developing a clean energy mix. We are hopeful that the government will continue to support renewables in the future.”

The snub comes at a time when the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology have come together in a newly-released report on Australian climate change projections, putting forward increased evidence that the climate has and will continue to change in ways that will negatively impact the Australian environment and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, other nations are increasingly abandoning fossil fuels and investing in large-scale renewable energy projects, such as the 200MW solar plant to be built in Dubai, or the decision of one of Europe's biggest energy providers to effectively discard its conventional energy assets and focus instead on renewables.

In the words of Adnan Amin, “The old model is stagnating. Change is coming and it is going to be dramatic.” Needless to say, if the Prime Minister continues to ignore the obvious and neglects to “get with the times”, Australia will surely get left behind.

Source: 2015, 'Australian Labor Party Slams Abbott for Neglecting Issue of Climate Change', Sputnik, 27 January, viewed 28 January 2015.

Parkinson, G 2015, 'Australia Thumbs its Nose at Global Renewable Energy Market', RenewEconomy, 23 January, viewed 28 January 2015.

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