17 Aug 2016


WWF-Australia today urged the Government to reconsider ending the renewable energy innovation fund known as ARENA.

As a budget-saving measure, the Government should instead phase out the more than $7.7 billion in tax payer funded fossil fuel subsidies.

Prime Minister Turnbull today announced that he will introduce an “omnibus Bill” into Parliament that will include measures from the Government’s May budget and election commitments, which potentially includes cuts to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) grant making functions.

“ARENA is vital for our clean energy future, providing funding to build innovate renewable energy projects that struggle to get funding from banks, like large scale solar thermal,” said WWF National Climate Change Manager, Kellie Caught.

“There are some exciting renewable energy solutions that can provide massive benefits to Australia, including creating sustainable jobs and cutting pollution. They just need a little more support to get a start."

“An obvious solution is to scrap non-agricultural fossil fuel subsidies and use the savings to fund ARENA, bringing the budget back into the black.”

Polling conducted by ReachTEL in April this year showed strong support for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and using the funds to invest in renewable energy.

“We have a budget crisis and a global warming crisis. Phasing out billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies and investing it in clean renewable energy is the smart thing to do,” Ms Caught said.

"Burning fossil fuels is the biggest cause of global warming responsible for the underwater heat wave that devastated our Great Barrier Reef."

“Ending fossil fuel subsidies and investing in ARENA is good for the budget and for the environment – a win win."

WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, Senior Manager News & Public Affairs, 0432 206 592