Chris Bowen: Australia’s New Minister For Climate Change And Energy 

Australian Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen

Chris “Community Battery” Bowen was sworn in as Australia’s Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy yesterday, and he’s pretty chuffed about it.

Minister Bowen is taking over from Angus “Insert Something Witty Here, But Don’t Be Rude” Taylor in the Energy portfolio.

“Thrilled to be appointed Minister for Climate Change and Energy,” he said in a Facebook post. “The world’s climate emergency is Australia’s jobs opportunity. Let’s go.”

It’s great he’s wanting to make lemonade from lemons. It’s sad a big chunk of the world’s population will still just wind up with very bitter lemons from the impacts of climate change.

Here’s a bit more about Mr. Bowen.

Chris Eyles Guy Bowen is a Capricorn

… and he was born in the year of the water ox. That makes him a hard worker, determined and strong. Obviously Albo checked out the astrology stuff before giving him the job.

Chris Bowen Is A Jack Of All Political Trades

He’s been a member of the Australian Labor Party since 1988. That would have made him 15 when he received his ALP membership pack, complete with a life-size poster of Bob Hawke for his bedroom wall.

Mr. Bowen has been hands-on involved in various levels of government since 1994, including a stint on Fairfield City Council where he also served as Mayor of the LGA. He then progressed (?) to the House of Representatives in 2004, following which he joined Kevin Rudd’s shadow ministry in 2006. When K.Rudd took Labor to victory in 2007, Chris became a jack of all trades – serving as Minister in a bunch of different portfolios; none of which were directly related to energy.

After the ALP was defeated in 2013,  he was interim leader of the Opposition for a bit. More recently he was going to take a stab at making it a full time gig; but graciously stepped aside so Anthony Albanese could have a crack at it.

Finally, he became Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy in late January 2021 before stepping out of the shadow and into the blazing glory of fully-fledged ministership yesterday.

Mr. Bowen is the Federal Member for McMahon.

Chris Genuinely Likes Renewable Energy

And isn’t that a relief, huh? It’s quite a change from his predecessor who was at best tolerant of it in my opinion.

I swear I could sometimes hear Angus Taylor’s teeth cracking as he ground his chiselled jaw while addressing renewable energy related issues. Or maybe that was my teeth while listening to him. That would explain a few things. I must let my dentist know.

After ScoMo used a lump of coal in Parliament to taunt Labor, Mr. Bowen returned the gesture with a solar panel; urging Scott Morrison, Angus and crew not to be afraid of renewable energy.

Chris Bowen *Really* Likes Community Batteries

I thought South Australia’s Dan “The Battery Man” van Holst Pellekaan was battery storage’s biggest fan among politicians; but Chris Bowen will give him a run for his money1. In the lead-up to the Federal Election, Mr. Bowen appeared to be promising a community battery to a town or suburb every other day.

In December last year, Labor pledged to invest $200 million over four years in community batteries through a grants program that will deliver around 400 community battery systems with a proposed 500kWh capacity each. Chris then went gangbusters on spruiking the batteries and I’m not sure how many are left that aren’t spoken for.

Now, he’ll have to deliver.

Chris Bowen Drives An EV

Putting some of his own money where his mouth is, Mr. Bowen took delivery of an EV in February this year – a Tesla Model 3. He is committed to introducing legislation to slash import tariffs and the fringe benefits tax on electric vehicles priced under the luxury car tax threshhold.

Chris Bowen Believes In Climate Change

And not in a “the climate has always been changing” way. His belief is the real deal, that humans have played a role in really messing things up.

“Giving Australia a climate change policy we can proud of will be a signature reform of the Albanese Government,” Mr. Bowen stated.

Chris Bowen is not the Messiah. But maybe he offers some real hope – better late than never as they say.

Footnotes

  1. Although Dan will arguably still have the coolest surname in Australian politics – but is he continuing?