Australia commits to wind energy after Paris deal

Wind energy

Canberra: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday overturned a decision by his predecessor to ban government investment in wind power.

Earlier this year, the former prime minister announced a controversial ban on wind farm investment, in what was labelled a war on clean energy in favor of dirtier forms of power such as coal, Xinhua news agency reported.

But on Monday, a cabinet spokesperson said a decision to allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) the right to invest in wind power reflected the Turnbull government’s “strong support for renewable and innovation”.

“The mandate puts the CEFC’s focus on new and emerging renewable technologies, rather than supporting well-established technologies that are financially viable without government support,” the spokesperson said.

The news comes on the back of the widely successful climate talk in Paris, where Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop agreed to Australia becoming one of nearly 200 countries committed to ending the era of fossil fuels.

Last week, Turnbull also revealed his government’s commitment to encouraging innovation and small business, and according to a statement released on Monday, noting that clean energy such as the wind is crucial to the future of innovation in Australia.

Kane Thornton, chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, also praised the decision, telling The Guardian that Abbott’s “war on wind” was a step back, whereas the talks in Paris and Turnbull’s support for innovation was a giant leap forward for clean energy in Australia. (IANS)