Australian Opposition reveals ambitious climate change action plan

Christopher Davidson
April 5, 2019

Labor's commitment to use worldwide offsets to reduce emissions is not enough in reducing the overall cost and impact of climate change measures on Australian households and businesses, especially in regional communities.

He also said that emissions intensive, trade-exposed sectors, such as WA's LNG and aluminium sectors, would get "tailored treatment" under the new policy, which will require companies to buy carbon credits if they breach their pollution cap.

But at the same time, he will seek to counter any attack by declaring there will be "no carbon tax and no carbon pricing mechanism" under a Shorten Labor government.

"Bill Shorten does not have a plan, he just has a tax", Prime Minister Scott Morrison repeatedly told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

The electric vehicle policy would be the first of its kind in Australia and has won the support of the National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA), which went even further in calling for a ban on the sale of petrol vehicles as early as 2025. Labor's policy would lift our reputation internationally.

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler disagreed, saying Australian companies were allowed to trade in every other kind of global market.

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said that was rubbish.

"We welcome news that climate change will be a priority for Labor's worldwide development program with a focus on some of our closest neighbours which are highly vulnerable", said Ms McKenzie.

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As a major resources and energy exporter and a large country with a relatively small population, Australia needs a climate change policy which recognises the high relative emissions intensity of the country's economy. "Whether they are from the Australian carbon farming sector or overseas robust, credible markets or the electricity sector, the important thing is for cuts in pollution to be achieved", he said.

"What we need is cuts in pollution".

The mechanism, which now applies to 140 companies, sets a baseline of emissions for businesses.

The higher the price of having to buy credits, the more businesses will look at their own emissions, Ms de Wit said.

If offset prices increase - as appears very likely - this will significantly increase the cost to Australian businesses of meeting the opposition's 45% emission reduction target.

Labor will also reveal that, unlike the Coalition, it will not use carryover credits from the Kyoto protocol to meet Australia's emissions target under the Paris agreement.

Other planned initiatives include a national container deposit scheme, a $60 million national recycling fund, the appointment of a national waste commissioner, and $15 million to help neighbouring countries clean up the Pacific Ocean.

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