That is unlikely to happen though under Tony Abbott – who has proclaimed coal to be ‘good for humanity’ – and who revealed that he detests wind farms – calling them noisy and ‘visually awful’.
To the dismay of the multi-billion-dollar clean-energy sector and to the mortification of many Australians – Mr Abbott bragged that he had halted the spread of wind farms by slashing the amount of energy to be generated by renewable sources by 2020.
Explaining a compromise which he reached with opposition parties in the Senate last month to cut the target by 20 per cent he told a right-wing radio host Alan Jones: ‘What we did recently in the Senate was to reduce… the number of these things [wind farms] we are going to get in the future’.
He added: ‘I frankly would have liked to have reduced the number a lot more. But we got the best deal we could and if we hadn’t had a deal we would have been stuck with even more of these things… I’ve been up close to these wind farms – there’s no doubt that not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise.”
The comments were described as ‘gobsmacking’ by the Labor Party – which said they did not augur well for Australia’s participation in the key climate change conference in Paris later this year.
Mr Abbott – who abolished a carbon-pricing scheme on coming to power and has dismissed ‘the climate change argument’ as ‘absolute crap’ – is already out of step with other developed nations such as France and the US – who want more ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions.