A modern economy needs a Clean Energy Finance Corporation

● By Prof. John Mathews, Macquarie Graduate School of Management ● Last week, the Australian Senate considered the government’s package of “carbon tax” abolition bills – bills abolishing the carbon tax, the Climate Change Authority (CCA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The Senate’s first move was to hold hearings on the abolition of the CCA and CEFC, and to split them off from the rest of proposed legislation. This was a first victory for a combined Greens and Labor vote in the Senate, signalling that the new Abbott government will not have an easy task in dismantling these structures. Defending the role of the CEFC is not just playing politics. In its short life, the corporation has already demonstrated an impressive track record in financing investment in new, green and cleantech projects throughout Australia. It is attracting significant investment into the sector – capital that would not be appearing without it. There is a looming debate over the efficacy of the CEFC, with room for rational argument from both sides. The case brought by Environment Minister Greg Hunt is basically that the CEFC “crowds out” private investment; that it adds no “additionality” and simply funds what would be funded anyway. He says that it adds nothing new to what was already being achieved by the Renewable Energy Target. He also usually adds that its projects are “highly speculative” and that it is therefore putting public funds at risk. Minister Hunt was making these points again on Tuesday at the Carbon Expo conference in Melbourne – even after they had been thoroughly refuted by the CEFC in its submission to the Senate Inquiry the Senate Environment and Communications Committee launched last week. How well do the Minister’s assertions stand up? Far from crowding out private investment in renewables and cleantech projects, the CEFC has attracted A$2.90 from private funds for every A$1 it has invested in projects ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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