The government has announced long-awaited fuel efficiency standards, which will place a yearly cap on the total emissions output for new cars sold in Australia. The new regime will move Australia in the direction of comparable countries, but it has its critics.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen joins the podcast to discuss this policy, as well as the government’s progress on the energy transition, which is facing resistance in some regional and rural communities.

On the fuel standards, Bowen insists there’s no downside.

I don’t see any losers out of this policy because you could still get full range of choice.

He points out the government won’t be forcing anyone to change cars.

We like people having the choice of EVs and like people taking up EVs because they’re good for emissions and good for the cost of living. But it’s a choice for Australians, and I recognise everyone’s on a journey. You know, some people are looking at plug-in hybrids. Some people are just not ready yet, it’s perfectly understandable.

On climate change and the 2030 targets, Bowen admits

Of course, there are challenges along the road. And there’s a big lift […] renewable energy was about 30% when we came to office. And we’re getting to 82%. It’s a big job; of course, there are bumps and challenges. I don’t shy away from that. But we continue with the journey.

Talking about the government’s First Nations Clean Energy Strategy, Bowen says

I’m co-developing it with First Nations people. It’s co-designed. I think that’s very important, because it’s not me sitting in Canberra telling First Nations people what they need and what will happen. […] It’s run very collaboratively across the committee. It’s done a lot of outreach in meetings.

Indigenous people have a lot of energy insecurity in remote Australia. I mean, [they are] amongst the most energy insecure in the world. Their electricity gets turned off a lot. But they live in the hottest, sunniest places in the world. So, you know, we need better harnessed renewable energy. We need to give them more energy reliability.

Extracted in full from:  https://theconversation.com/politics-with-michelle-grattan-chris-bowen-on-fuel-efficiency-standards-and-the-energy-transition-223094

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