IPA Today

Closing Eraring Is All Pain For No Climate Gain

Written by
24 February 2022

“Shutting the Eraring power station seven years earlier will make no discernible difference to the global temperature, but it will put over 1,000 workers in the Hunter Valley out of a job and drive-up electricity bills,” said Daniel Wild, director of research at the Institute of Public Affairs. 

Institute for Public Affairs research published in the Daily Telegraph today showed Eraring accounts for less than four-hundredths of one per cent of total global emissions meaning any possible environmental dividend is merely symbolic.

“Closing Eraring will cause enormous pain for those workers who will lose their job and Australians who will be faced with ever increasing electricity bills, all for no climate gain.”

“The closure Hazelwood in Victoria wreaked havoc on the national energy market with electricity prices skyrocketing by 85 per cent in Victoria and 63 per cent in NSW, unfortunately history is likely to repeat itself with Eraring’s closure,” said Mr Wild.

The announcement by Origin underscores research of the Institute of Public Affairs, which identified that up to 653,600 jobs would be put at risk by a policy if net zero emissions by 2050. The research also found that the job losses would be concentrated in industries such as agriculture, coal mining, and heavy manufacturing.

“The closure of Eraring is a direct consequence of Scott Morrison’s commitment to net zero emissions made in November last year. Net zero is already destroying jobs and critical industry in regional centres like the Hunter.”

“Further IPA research identified that close to 15% of all jobs, around 10,000, in the electorate of Hunter could be destroyed by a net zero emissions target. Sadly, the Eraring announcement by Origin confirms this research.”

Closing coal-fired power will also make Australia more vulnerable to an increasingly hostile and aggressive China, which is currently constructing 92 new coal-fired power stations while Australia is shutting ours down.

“Closing coal-fired power now an issue of national security. Australia cannot defend itself if we cannot manufacture critical supplies at a time of growing hostility in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“Australia’s commitment to net zero emission is no longer just an economic concern, it is a threat to our national security,” said Mr Wild. 

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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