Australia invites Saudi investment in renewables sector

The Australian government has reached out to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeking investment in its renewables sector.

Greg Hunt, Australia’s environment minister has declared his country open for business as a marked shift in attitude towards renewables has been noted following the end of Tony Abbott’s stint as prime minister.
Greg Hunt and Malcolm Turnbull
FT reports Mr Hunt as referring to a “significant change in tone on renewable energy” after pro-green Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seized the leadership of the ruling centre-right Liberal party in September.

Mr Hunt, who was in Dubai for international environment talks told Saudi and United Arab Emirates officials there, “If you have sovereign wealth funds that like to invest in new energy, you might want to look at Australia”.

Green power investments in Australia plunged after Mr Abbott took office in 2013. He once described the arguments behind climate change as “absolute crap” and, after taking office, scrapped plans for a carbon tax and said coal was “good for humanity”.

The government will however stick to Mr Abbott’s Direct Action climate plan, which awards grants to companies competing to cut their greenhouse gas emissions as cheaply as possible.

This had already led to “very significant” reductions in emissions, said Mr Hunt.

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