Industry opposes government’s climate change policy

The Coalition government’s direct action climate change policy has been rejected not only by the opposition and environmentalists but also by industry.

As the AFR reports, AiGroup chief executive Innes Willox has claimed that the policy is unlikely to achieve its target of reducing emissions by 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 and should be dumped in favour of helping the developing world reduce carbon emissions.

Willox’s criticism comes as the government is forging ahead with its plans to remove the price on carbon. As the SMH reports, Tony Abbott has announced plans to present his carbon price repeal legislation this year.

As a result, the government may move closer to a double-dissolution election which would probably take place in early 2014.

Willox attended a stakeholder briefing on the climate change issue with Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday. Following the meeting, he said that the emissions goal is a serious challenge, especially if carbon reductions are only sourced locally.

As an alternative, he suggested that Australia buy Certified Emissions Reduction credits, (CERs) from developing countries. These are issued in return for those countries taking measure such as upgrading to cleaner technologies or planting trees.

On the other side of the debate, Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt has told reporters in Melbourne that Tony Abbott is a “climate-change criminal” for going ahead with draft legislation to repeal Labor's carbon pricing scheme from mid-2014.

Bandt said that, in contrast to the government, “The Greens will stand steadfast to protect the Australian people from the climate change criminality of Tony Abbott.”

He added, “This is about protecting the Australian way of life, making sure that when you go camping at the end of the year over the Christmas holidays you don't have to worry about bushfires wherever you go.”

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