Dump Paris and Snowy Hydro 2.0: Ellis

October 01, 2018

Former BHP and Landcare chairman Jerry Ellis has called for Australia to leave the Paris Agreement, ditch Snowy Hydro 2.0 and be more balanced in discussing the costs and benefits of tackling climate change, echoing the constant calls being made  by the Conservative Party.

The Australian newspaper reports today that Mr Ellis said it was clear the push to meet the Paris targets was leading to higher power costs.

“We have lost balance between working for the environmental outcomes and working for economic outcomes,” he said. “These things need to be balanced. This has been missed with the Paris accord.”

“The world is better off to have strong economies to have money to spend on poverty, health and the environment.”

However, the government is struggling to define new energy and climate policies following the collapse of negotiations for a national energy guarantee.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has been given the single focus of reducing energy prices but the states are pushing ahead with ambitious renewable energy targets of their own.

“I hope the new leadership of the Australian government has the courage to guide our country in a rational manner on this subject, as Angus Taylor seems keen to do, and abandons the Paris treaty,” Mr Ellis said.

He also said former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plan for Snowy Hydro 2.0 was “quite extraordinary”.

“That investment would have been better spent on fossil fuel power generation using coal or gas,” Mr Ellis said.

Internationally, new doubts have been raised about the cost of Germany’s renewable energy transition, once considered a template for global action.

In a scathing assessment on Friday, Germany’s Audit Office said efforts had been an “unprecedented” waste of resources and the project was on the brink of failure.

Germany has confirmed it will miss its 2020 emissions target and the EU has decided not to push ahead with more ambitious targets for 2030.

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