Conservatives love subsidies because they know that they work. It’s why they spend $11bn subsidising private schools and $6bn subsidising private health insurance. It’s why they’re so keen to subsidise new coal mines and coal-fired power stations. And of course, it’s the reason that they are so obsessed with renewable energy subsidies — they know just how effective they would be.
There are those who think mining more coal is a good way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and then there are those who don’t. I’m definitely one of the latter. And for those who want to see Australia’s emissions fall, there is no doubt that we need more subsidies for renewables.
These days, the rightwing commentators who once asserted “climate change isn’t real” typically prefer to argue that measures to tackle climate change are either ineffective, or too expensive. One of their favourite arguments is that if renewables are now cheaper than coal, then why should Australia subsidise renewables at all? It’s a good question, but there are plenty of good answers.