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Labor, Big Business Mugged By Reality On Net Zero

Written by
3 June 2022

“An energy crisis of chronic supply shortages and explosive price hikes is gripping the country as a direct and immediate result of net zero,” said Dr Kevin You, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

New Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen on Thursday refused the opportunity to rule out appealing to Australia’s coal-fired power generators to help rescue Australia from the predicament that net zero has inflicted on it. Bowen said that no solution has been ruled “in or out” to address the crisis, noting: “If there is advice to me about sensible and measure actions that can be taken, I will take them.”

The statement came alongside a concession made by AiGroup Chief Executive Innes Willox, who has up to now been an enthusiastic proponent of net zero, that only coal and gas can provide salvation from the current crisis. “Short term is either get more gas into the market and get more coal power, but neither are easy or simple,” he said.

“Big business, Labor, and union super funds have been mugged by reality and are finally waking up to what real Australians have always known: net zero is wreaking havoc on Australia’s energy system,” said Dr You.

“Net zero has forced affordable and reliable coal-fired power out of the energy market in preference of intermittent and high-cost wind and solar.”

“IPA research has identified that under net zero, all new coal, gas, and oil projects in the construction pipeline must be cancelled to achieve the 2050 emissions target, which means gas supply shortages and further price hikes will only grow in the years ahead.”

“On the first day of winter, the Australian Energy Market Operator made the extraordinary emergency assessment that rationing gas may be required in response to shortages and explosive price hikes, which is a clear sign of net zero in action,”

A recent survey undertaken by the IPA asked over 1,000 Australians what the main focus of Australia’s energy policy should be. Some 72% of respondents indicated that affordability or reliability should be the focus, while only 28% believe meeting the policy of net zero emissions should be the focus.

Moreover, when asked how much they are willing to personally pay for Australia to reach net zero by 2050, 92% of survey respondents said that they are only prepared to pay up to $100 per year.

“Real Australians in the suburbs and regions are already paying the price for the policy of net zero, which is a policy designed by and for wealthy inner-city elites,” said Dr You.

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Kevin You

Dr Kevin You is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs

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