23 Mar Australian PM Turnbull to launch $1bn dollar clean energy fund
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a A$1 billion clean-energy fund aimed at reducing Australia’s carbon emissions to zero.
Turnbull’s announcement is a clear deviation from his environment-sceptic predecessor Tony Abbott. The Conservative, former Prime Minster was criticised for failing to address Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions last year.
Abbott, who was replaced by Turnbull after a party coup in September, controversially supported the coal industry and scrapped an ambitious carbon tax and emissions trading plan in 2014.
Turnbull told the media the new fund will focus on investing in high-tech clean energy.
He said: “What that is going to do is every year invest $100 million in the smartest, most cutting edge Australian clean-energy technologies and businesses to ensure that we … play our part in cracking the very hard problems, the challenging technical difficulties that we face in terms of reducing emissions.”
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund will eventually take over much of the current role of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), providing grants to help commercialise emerging technologies.
The government said ARENA would “continue to manage its existing portfolio of grants and deliver the announced $100m in large-scale solar projects”.
“Once the $100m large-scale solar round is complete, Arena will move from a grant-based role to predominantly a debt and equity basis under the new Clean Energy Innovation Fund.”