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Business is leading the transition to renewables while politicians dither

Blair Palese reports in The Guardian (8.6.17) that, ahead of the Finkel Review into Australia’s energy sector, local businesses such as Origin Energy, BlueScope Steel and Telstra are moving to renewables to hedge against increasing costs and market volatility, caused in part by policy delay.

‘It is a volatile time for energy politics. Last week the US president, Donald Trump, rocked the world by following through on his pledge to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

‘Considering even North Korea is party to the accord, this leaves the US marooned and alone as a rogue climate nation while the rest of the world has recommitted to climate change action.

‘In Australia, the Finkel report will be delivered this Friday and there are questions whether any credible low-carbon energy policy can pass the rocky shoals of the Coalition backbench. The timing couldn’t be worse, with government members using Trump’s move to pressure Australia to leave the global agreement.

‘This political impasse is frustrating business leaders around the globe – and right here at home. Following Trump’s announcement, Goldman Sachs’ chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, used his first ever tweet to lampoon Trump, while even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon said leaving was a stupid idea.

‘In Australia, where a catastrophic failure of public policy has seen wholesale electricity prices double since the price on carbon was repealed, businesses and organisations are taking their own steps to hedge against increasing energy costs and market volatility.’

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