Australia’s 2021 Budget Offers More Support for Gas Industry and Nothing for Clean Energy
Tuesday, 25 May 2021 -
In what Australia’s Clean Energy Council (CEC) described as a missed opportunity, the government has shown little faith in championing the global crusade for secure and clean energy-powered economies.
The CEC’s sentiment comes in the wake of Wednesday’s budget in which the Morrison government delivered a budget that had no funding for renewable energy. Gas, globally, is fuelling the current climate crisis that the world finds itself in. However, billions of dollars have gone into subsidy and expansion efforts of Australia’s Gas industry.
The CECs sentiments have been echoed by A. Fuller, who is the director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). Fuller sounded his disapproval of the budget by saying that the government should focus on investing public finances towards realistic solutions that can guarantee a seamless transition to a clean energy-powered economy, as opposed to worsening the situation.
The Government’s Stance
The Morrison government is however convinced that channelling resources into the gas industry in the short term to long term solution to revitalizing the economy from the pandemic slump, and as well as being the quickest way to recovery. The budget further shows the government has its sight set on capital spending in fossil fuel infrastructures such as the relatively new Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) concept.
The State of Australia’s Clean Energy
As a principal co-signee of the Paris Agreement (2015), Australia is having an emerging and rapidly flourishing clean energy sector. And instead of the federal government supporting this global initiative, they have chosen to double down on bankrolling the gas-powered agenda. And in so, have opted to pay the countries huge carbon emitters to curtail emissions.
The Post-Covid-19 Budget
With regards to the global push for clean energy, the Morrison leadership has shown tremendous contrast to what's happening with international peers. The European Union and the US have co-signed to a post-Covid-19 multi-billion-dollar infrastructure that embraces cleaner energy in the anticipated economic recoveries.
However, this week’s budget indicates more taxpayer support going into the rejuvenation of fossil industries, while virtually nothing has been allocated to help initiatives that speed up the transition to clean energy. The slightest glimpse of support has seen a commitment of the federal budget going into measures that minimize emissions.
In its gas-powered agenda, Australia has committed $59 million in support of gas industries as a post-pandemic recovery stimulus, $264 million in CCS projects, and a further $276 million in the creation of hydrogen hubs across the country. And climate and energy experts aren’t exactly thrilled because the suspicion is that most of this funding had previously been earmarked to go into the Vales Point Power Station upgrades.
Moreover, the budget has headlined a further $280 million that is going to subsidies involving major carbon emitters to minimize emissions in the next decade. The National Oil and the agricultural sector have also had $60 million in funding to curb emissions. However, no new funding schemes have been set up to improve the clean energy sector.
(Edited by: The Decision Maker team)