Former energy minister Josh Frydenberg has told the ABC over the weekend that he is disappointed the energy policy he spent months formulating is now dead, and he says the Coalition’s message at the next federal election will be that both the major parties have failed to land durable policies and reduce emissions.
According to the ABC, Frydenberg said “no one is more disappointed than I am” about the government dumping the national energy guarantee, which Scott Morrison confirmed remained the official government position over the weekend.
Frydenberg, who as energy and environment minister spearheaded the NEG, said “a lot of work went into the national energy guarantee” but he had to recognise the reality that colleagues refused to support it.
The former-Energy minister told the ABC that the government was now focused solely on ensuring the electricity system was reliable, and that power bills came down and new energy minister Angus Taylor is currently working up options for cabinet consideration.
Frydenberg went on to say the government had “a suite of measures that take into account the built environment, that take into account the land sector, that take into account the electricity sector” – even though the government has now formally abandoned its 26% emissions reduction target in the electricity sector.
In today’s edition of The Guardian, the Energy Security Board has also said emissions will be 24% lower by 2021 courtesy of a big build of renewable energy pulled through by the renewable energy target, a development which is also contributing to lower wholesale prices, but electricity will not reach a 26% reduction in the absence of the NEG.
The ESB also issued a public warning in August stating that delaying the agreement on the policy will “prolong the current investment uncertainty, and deny customers more affordable energy”.
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