Cracks are showing on the Coalition climate change stand as the party’s support for the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET) was questioned by backbenchers.
Abbott’s political instincts are pretty good but he’s got this one wrong. At most they should support ‘aspirational targets’ that are more easily jettisoned for the absurdity they are.
Senior backbenchers have blamed the RET for causing an 18 per cent increase in electricity prices in New South Wales and South Australia. Senator Ron Boswell pointed out that the RET would contribute more significantly to the aluminium industry than the carbon tax but the party had to admit that higher power cost associated with the RET would be a problem for the manufacturing industry.
However, Opposition leader Tony Abbott that the party must back the RET due to the popular support among Australian voters for renewable energy. He stressed the Coalition would commit to the RET but would scrap the carbon tax if it wins the 2013 election.