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COAG renewable energy target will hurt households: Greens

The COAG yesterday signed off on a plan to have 20 percent of Australia’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020.

Under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) plan, households and some businesses will have to pay for their renewable energy boost through higher electricity prices. However trade-exposed industries will not have to pay, which has angered the Greens.

“The Rudd Government is out of control with its corporate welfare to big polluters… but instead of standing up and justifying its policy, the Government looks set to once again buckle to pressure from cashed up polluters and give them even more handouts,” said Australian Greens deputy leader, senator Christine Milne.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cited the trade industries involvement in the emissions trading scheme as the reason they would not have to pay for renewable energy.

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett has backed the plan, claiming it will “boost jobs immediately, and encourage more low emission energy into the future.”

Also on the agenda were new and tougher standards for energy efficiency for homes and commercial buildings. From 2010, all new homes will have to be built for 6-star energy efficiency ratings.

The laws for RET will be introduced in the middle of year, and the 20 percent target will  come into effect next year.

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