That is Giles Parkinson’s advice to Abbott.
Parkinson says Australia should be embarrassed by its lack of action compared to the United States and China, which has indicated it will place a cap on its emissions as soon as 2016.
Ironically, Abbott could have a pretty good collection of climate and renewable energy policies just by doing nothing. Everything Labor put in place is still there, apart from Tim Flannery and the Climate Commission, which has morphed into the Climate Council with private money and public donations.
The carbon price is still there, the renewable energy target can still deliver more than a 20 per cent share of wind, solar, hydro and biomass, and push more coal- and gas-fired generation out of the market.
Even the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with a $10 billion budget that will hasten new technologies and deliver abatement and profits to the government, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, with money to spend on new technologies such as this groundbreaking solar thermal plant, and the first large scale solar and storage plant for a major mining operation, are still in operation.
So, too, is the Climate Change Authority. And by a strange quirk of fate, the country’s official emissions reduction target has jumped to 18.9 per cent, the result of some forward thinking policy wonks who decided to lock in Australia’s prior climate commitments in the case of a political stalemate.
Around 19 per cent is exactly what the CCA, and many others, say is Australia’s fair share, given the developments overseas.
So what sort of fool would want to tear these policies down? Pretty much the sort whose ideology and vested interests makes him blind to the fact that business as usual is neither credible, nor possible.
Not everyone in the Liberal Party is happy:
As one Liberal Party observer noted this week: “Clearly, there are enough sitting Liberal members that reject the Americanisation of Australia’s social values.
“There are enough who understand science and research and the importance of science and research to Australia’s well being. There are enough who are sick of the Liberal brand being trashed by climate deniers within the party.”
A voting block of around 16 would do the trick – that’s less than the number of Coalition MPs under threat in marginal seats. What could possibly be the downside?
Bring on the revolution, Abbott must go!
It’s all very well for some Liberal pollies to have a conscience. None of them seems to have the bottle to do anything that might lead to change.
Time to stop dreaming. Greg Hunt, Abbott’s climate poodle, plays with the figures, stretches things a bit and concludes that the US and Australia have very similar positions.
The real fun begins when they sit down with Clive Palmer, who thinks all the carbon ‘tax’ collected should be reimbursed to the polluters.
Also I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall when Abbott sits down with Obama and discusses whether climate change should be on the G20 agenda. Surely if Obama is serious about climate change he’ll give Abbott an offer he can’t refuse. Like why would Obama bother coming if important stuff is left off the agenda.