Oct 19, 2006

Howard’s Minister opens Kyoto funded wind farm in China

Howard’s Minister opens Kyoto funded wind farm in China

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

19 October 2006

The Kyoto Protocol is alive and kicking, delivering clean, renewable energy projects in developing countries.

John Howard strongly criticises Kyoto, but this week sent his Environment Minister to China to open a $300 million renewable energy project that was funded by the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.

John Howard is wrong and a hypocrite on the Kyoto Protocol.

It is outrageous that the Howard Government celebrates jobs and investment in China when it blocks wind farms in Australia.

The Kyoto Protocol is delivering thousands of manufacturing and service jobs in China but, because Australia has not ratified Kyoto, Australian companies can only pick up the occasional overseas project as minority players.

If Australia ratified Kyoto and had a credible renewable energy target we would create jobs in Australia and build a strong renewables industry.

The Chinese wind farm is commercially viable because China has ratified Kyoto and has a renewable energy target of 15%, compared to Australia’s pathetic 2% target.

The project was a Joint Venture between the Australian company Roaring 40s (49%) and the Chinese Datang Jilin Power Generation Company (51%).

The rules of the Kyoto Protocol require majority ownership of projects to be from Kyoto ratifying nations. Since Australia has not ratified, Roaring 40s had to forego 51% of this lucrative renewable energy deal.

The same is true for dozens of Australian companies in the sustainable energy sector who cannot access the exploding market for Clean Development projects.

The wind farm will supply clean energy to 30,000 homes in China, and would not have been built without access to the Clean Development Mechanism.

Additional investment in clean and renewable energy projects in developing countries will be worth $133 billion by 2012, but because Australia has not ratified Kyoto we will get very little of that work.

Roaring 40s recently pulled out of renewable energy projects in Australia (worth $550m, employing 220 full-time construction workers) because of lack of Government support.