Yesterday The Climate Institute released a policy brief Coalition Climate Policy and the National Climate Interest which not to mince words is a complete crock, will increase emissions and ruin our reputation on climate matters in the world. The report, based on modelling by Sinclair Knight Merz-MMA and Monash University’s Centre of Policy Studies, was then declared by Greg Hunt to be “one of the silliest reports” he has ever seen prepared by “a clear partisan political organisation” which backs the ALP.
Giles Parkinson’s article The black hole in Tony Abbott’s frat party climate policy gives a comprehensive account and I commend it to readers.
Abbott in response to Rudd’s bringing forward of the ETS gave his memorable opinion on such trading schemes:
“It’s a so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one.”
Sara Phillips finds this curious since
the financial markets do a lot of trading in non-deliveries of invisible substances to no one. Water-front mansions in Abbott’s electorate of Warringah have been built on the profits of those trades.
And then there’s his comment that everyone else in the world has moved away from carbon pricing. This statement is flatly incorrect.
However she sees Rudd as running scared on climate when the majority of voters still want a leader who is strong on climate change. She sees his ETS policy as a move to neutralise the price on carbon as an election issue. Her final summation is:
Rudd should remember that he was propelled to power in 2007 partly because of his stronger stance on climate change than John Howard. His expulsion from the top job was in part because he softened his climate approach.
Moving faster to the ETS looks like running scared, when Australians have historically rewarded those who have stood firm on climate.
By dancing to Abbott’s tune, Rudd tangos to a man whose climate statements are incorrect. It’s not a good look for either of them.
Back in May Greg Combet termed Abbott’s proposal to remove the price on carbon immoral:
“All nations at the moment are working on an agreement to be concluded by 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take account of the scientific advice.
“With all of this policy that is working, that is environmentally effective, that’s economically responsible and socially fair, and what’s more is essential if we are to tackle climate change and protect the interests of future generations, Mr Abbott’s position on abolishing these measures is completely immoral.”
I think Phillips is being a bit severe on Rudd. He inherited a policy from Gillard and the group of parliamentarians she worked with which provides a robust and flexible platform from which to move to increase our effort in the future, as the need becomes obvious and accepted. In particular the institutional framework, the Climate Commission, the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, all to be swept away under Abbott, are to be kept under Rudd. The whole package, termed Clean Energy Future, a label which didn’t stick, was light years ahead of Rudd’s CPRS and whatever Gillard took to the 2010 election. The CPRS did not provide a flexible platform for enhanced effort; indeed it secured the place of fossil fuels into the 2030s.
Given the mood of the electorate (swinging voters in marginal seats) it appears the liars and clunkheads will prevail here too. Once again Australia will become an international laughing stock.