Malcolm Turnbull says Australia has the technology to become a “zero emissions energy country” and has declared there is no future for new coal fired power stations.
After Scott Morrison was accused of undermining climate change action in the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvualu, the former prime minister took to ABC radio to declare global warming an “existential matter for the Pacific”.
Mr Turnbull said Australia should plan to become a renewable energy powerhouse and declared “coal is simply not competitive anymore”.
“Its advocates are basically arguing out of self-interest. Whether it is political self-interest, whether it is financial self-interest. The simple economics of a new coal-fired power stations in Australia does not stack up,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The critical thing is to get to a zero or near zero emission energy sector and we have now the technology to do it. It is simply a question of engineering and economics. We absolutely know now that renewables are the way to go. Storage is affordable and feasible but you have got to build and plan for it.
“We have got phenomenal solar resources, phenomenal wind resources. So we can become a cheap energy country, a clean energy country, but we have got to plan it.”
Mr Turnbull hit out at “climate denialists” in the Coalition party room who he claimed scuppered the national energy guarantee in the final days of his prime ministership.
He said Australians would have cheaper electricity prices under the NEG than under Mr Morrison’s energy plan.
“Regrettably the failure of the NEG, because of the insurgency and the coup and all of those things that happened last year, what that means is that electricity prices will be higher and electricity will be less reliable and emissions will be higher than they otherwise would be,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The problem with the climate denialists, of which there are too many, is what they are basically doing is ensuring that we have less reliable, higher emissions and more expensive energy. So that is the price of their political games.”
Mr Turnbull also attacked broadcaster Alan Jones for urging Mr Morrison to “shove a sock” down the throat of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
He accused the 2GB heavyweight of being an “appalling misogynist” who uses violent language against women “as part of his regular rhetoric”.
“I think his pattern of using abusive and violent language against women, particularly women politicians, is disgraceful. He is an appalling misogynist in the way he talks about women,” Mr Turnbull said.
“At a time when we are doing everything we can as a national priority to stamp out violence against women and children you have this broadcaster who uses the language of violence against women as part of his regular rhetoric. It is disgraceful.”