ALP, Greens lose bid to alter ARENA remit

Extinction Rebellion protesters are urging the federal government to take climate change seriously.
Extinction Rebellion protesters are urging the federal government to take climate change seriously.

Labor and the Greens have failed in a fresh push to remove the ability of Australia's green bank to invest in fossil fuel technology.

The federal government has redrafted rules to expand the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency after its first attempt was quashed by Labor and the Greens.

The regulations allow ARENA to invest in low emissions technologies including carbon capture and storage and hydrogen made with the use of fossil-fuel generated energy.

ARENA can still make its own investment decisions based on merit.

The Labor caucus on Monday decided it would move another disallowance motion.

However, the motion was more tightly worded than the previous one, only dealing with a section on carbon capture and storage and hydrogen made using fossil fuels.

As the disallowance motion was tied 15-all when it was brought on for a vote in the Senate on Wednesday, it failed.

One Nation sided with the government.

But it is understood the Greens are seeking advice over whether One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who was not in the chamber, was appropriately paired.

In the previous vote, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts backed the government but Senator Hanson was absent.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the reforms were about reducing emissions across every sector of the economy, while boosting jobs.

"To achieve this goal, the government will invest $20 billion in new energy technologies by 2030, to drive at least $80 billion of total public and private investment over the decade."

Australian Associated Press