Australia will miss out on green investments until there is clarity on climate mitigation, GE’s vice chairman John Rice says.
“We still believe that over time there needs to be a price on carbon, there will be a price on carbon,” he told ABC TV.
“Whatever the outcome is, investors are going to want clarity and a long window with which to see the world, otherwise you’re just not going to get the right investments here.”
GE is heavily involved in the wind, solar, nuclear and steam power industries, along with jet engines and household appliances. But Mr Rice said the former Labor government’s carbon policy did not have political legitimacy.
“It’s clear the legislation that was promulgated wasn’t right for Australia, certainly in the eyes of the current government and we certainly support or live with that outcome,” he said.
The Abbott government last week released draft laws to repeal the carbon tax, ahead of their introduction to parliament in November.
Mr Rice said he had little understanding of the coalition’s policy. But he does not believe demand will fall for GE’s wind turbines.
“Wind is always going to have a place in the portfolio of power generation technology,” he said. “The cost will continue to come down.”
Both sides of politics support a mandated 20 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020.