Opposition leader Peter Dutton says a “renewables-only” energy policy is damaging the economy. 

During an interview on Sky News, Dutton said Australia’s policy has led to significant increases in power prices, affecting households and small businesses alike.

He appears not only to have misrepresented Australia’s actual energy policy, which is not “renewables-only”, but also to be incorrect about its economic effect.  

“We have to make sure we have got a realistic system and energy is the economy,” Dutton said

“It is not just your household power bill that is going through the roof, it’s the local butcher and the local IGA … the local farmer, anyone who has got cold storage. That is why under Labor you’re paying so much more for your groceries when you go to the supermarket.”

He has attacked the federal government's legislated target to reduce emissions by 43 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, describing it as unrealistic. 

“There is no prospect it seems of the government reaching the target,” Dutton stated, alleging that this target has also contributed to rising power prices.

While claiming to be committed to the Paris climate agreement and the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, Dutton cast doubt on Australia’s 2030 target. 

He warned that pursuing aggressive interim targets without considering economic impacts would further harm the economy.

Dutton has continued coyly hinting that the Coalition has a nuclear power policy, claiming that six or seven sites have been identified for potential nuclear power stations. 

Cynics believe that because running Australia on nuclear power is so highly unachievable in the short term, his plan is a thinly-veiled bid to extend the status quo - halting renewable development while perpetuating coal and gas power.  

Following Dutton's remarks, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong argued that abandoning the 2030 emissions targets would lead to higher electricity prices. 

Wong also highlighted the consequences of the Coalition's previous policies, noting that 24 coal stations announced their closure due to policy uncertainty. 

She said this approach reduces supply and increases prices, ultimately harming consumers.