Oct 7, 2014 - The Australian Labour Party might enter a deal with the government to give the aluminium industry full exemption from the country’s renewable energy target (RET), opposition leader Bill Shorten said today.
A final decision on the matter, however, has not been reached, Shorten told reporters in Sydney. The Clean Energy Council, the peak body representing Australia's clean energy sector, is "reportedly" ok the proposal, he noted.
The Australian Cabinet is expected to discuss the RET programme on Tuesday and give Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane a mandate to negotiate a settlement with Labor.
If the proposal is approved, aluminium smelters will face no limitations in the use of "black" power.
In February the Australian government picked global warming skeptic Dick Warburton to review the country’s RET programme, which is the instrument driving green investment in the country. The review panel’s report came out in August, calling for the close of the RET scheme to new entrants with large-scale projects, among other measures threatening the sector’s future. For months, Coalition Members of Parliament have been calling for an expansion of the partial exemption for the aluminium industry, which already enjoys a 90% exemption from the RET.
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