‘We are not a government department’: What’s the latest on the Abbott government’s climate change policies?
After months of controversy over the Government’s climate policies, the Abbott Government is making the biggest changes yet to its climate change plans.
The Opposition says the Coalition’s emissions reduction target of 33 per cent by 2030 is far too low and the Coalition is now saying that it will cut emissions from existing sources by up to 40 per cent.
But a new report has found the Coalition has not fully committed to reducing emissions.
“The Abbott Government has never made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt told ABC News Breakfast.
“It is in the best interest of the people to reduce emissions.”
The only time we’ve made any commitments on the climate has been in relation to the Great Barrier Reef and that was before the last election.
“I’ve been in the business of looking at the science and we have a very clear picture that it is a very dangerous situation, one that is worsening.”
He said the Government was considering how to “modernise” the carbon trading scheme, which has been set up by the Rudd Labor government.
“We are taking a look at that,” Mr Hunt said.
“I will have more to say about that in due course.”
‘We will make sure that all our jobs are here’ In a statement, the Government said it would “review the carbon pricing arrangements for the carbon market to ensure that they meet the objectives of the Climate Change Act”.
The announcement comes as a report by the Australian Council of Trade Unions has found that the Government is “lacking a clear understanding of the impact of the policies in place” and that the Coalition “does not have a plan to deliver”.
“There is no guarantee that the policies will be sustained over the longer term and the Abbott-era policy of cutting emissions is already having an impact on employment,” the report found.
‘Our jobs are in jeopardy’The Australian Council for the Environment (ACCE), which released the report, said it was “unclear” how many jobs would be lost by 2020 as a result of the Coalition cutting emissions.
“The Coalition has never delivered an emissions reduction plan and there is no plan to meet its emissions reduction targets,” ACCE National Executive Director David Kavanagh said.
In the statement, Mr Hunt promised that the Federal Government would “implement a robust carbon price scheme” and “take action to ensure our jobs remain here”.
‘There’s no doubt that the carbon price has been a huge success’Mr Hunt said the Coalition would continue to “improve” the COVID-19 treatment of greenhouse gases in the national energy market.
The Government’s carbon price is set to be introduced to the National Electricity Market in April 2019.
Mr Hunt says the carbon tax will help offset the costs of implementing the Climate Leadership Plan.
He told ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program that the plan would “fund our infrastructure, reduce emissions, support the coal industry and support the construction of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility”.
But he also told the program that it was not “in the best interests of the Australian people” to “cut emissions from all our existing sources” and added that the “cost of carbon has to come down”.
He also said the carbon levy would “absolutely not” increase energy bills and that “the cost of doing business in Australia” would remain the same as it was in the mid-2000s.
Labor has said it wants to see a carbon tax in the $30 billion package.
But the Federal Opposition has said the cost of implementing a carbon levy was a “major concern”.
It said that “carbon price schemes” would only “create more debt” and warned that “government borrowing costs are still going to be higher than the cost” of electricity.
“[The carbon price] would increase the cost and it would create more debt,” Mr Kavanag said.
“The carbon tax would only increase debt and it will make the cost go up.”
That is the major concern.
“The Coalition’s climate policy is expected to be released next month.
Topics:government-and-politics,climate-change,government-policy,environment,environmental-policy and-federal-government,government,australiaFirst posted June 20, 2020 19:27:37Contact Tracey MillingtonMore stories from New South Wales