Renewable energy is killing people this winter, Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly says.
Mr Kelly said high power prices meant many households were unable to adequately heat their homes.
“People will die,” he told AM.
“We’ve seen reports only recently that one-in-four Australian households this winter will be frightened to turn the heater on because of the price of electricity.
“We also know that the World Health Organisation has made it very clear that you increase winter mortality, that is you have more people dying in winter, if they cannot afford to heat their home.”
Mr Kelly is blaming rising power prices on the Government’s renewable energy target.
“There are $3 billion this year being paid in subsidies for renewable energy, that pushes up the price of electricity to the consumer,” he said.
The comments come as the Government considers a recommendation from the chief scientist, Alan Finkel, to introduce a Clean Energy Target.
Labor said Mr Kelly’s comments were insulting and accused him of scare-mongering.
“This is another appalling intervention, not just by a backbencher, but the chair of the coalition’s energy policy committee,” Opposition energy spokesperson Mark Butler said.
He said Dr Finkel’s recent review of the energy system did not blame renewables alone for rising power prices.
“The chief scientist only added to a number of different expert reports that say that the major driver of power price increases at the moment is policy paralysis at the national parliament level,” he said.