Direct Action climate policy receives PUP backing

The government’s $2.55 billion Direct Action climate change policy has received the support of Clive Palmer and is now likely to pass through the senate.

The government’s $2.55 billion Direct Action climate change policy has received the support of the Palmer United Party and is now likely to pass through the senate.

The Australian reports that the government has received the backing of Clive Palmer in return for reversing its promise to abolish the Climate Change Authority (CCA).

The agreement was announced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt at a media conference late on Wednesday. Palmer and CCA chair Bernie Fraser attended the conference.

The government has backflipped on a promise to abolish the Climate Change Authority and will instead fund the body to undertake an 18 month inquiry into the effectiveness of emissions trading programs around the world.

The government will retain the Climate Change authority and fund it to undertake an 18 month inquiry into the effectiveness of emissions trading programs around the world.

Technically, the government is opening the possibility of accepting an emissions trading scheme at some time in the future. But that is not likely to happen.

As the SMH reports, apart from PUP senators, the government needs the support of independent senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan to get the legislation through the senate.

The government has accepted four out of five amendments put forward by Senator Xenophon. However, it rejected his proposal for a $500 million fund to purchase international carbon credits. Even so, he is likely to support the legislation

As AAP reports, the policy includes a mechanism whereby ‘rogue emitters’ can be fined. However, the government doesn’t believe it will ever have to use this mechanism

"Is there likely to be any revenue raised? Our intention is no, our budgeting is no, and that's because we think the firms will operate within it," Hunt told Sky News on Thursday.

Greens leader Christine Milne called the deal with Palmer an “embarrassing joke’’.