Coalition’s Direct Action scheme to raise, not lower Australia’s emissions

Intro

Just as the Abbott Government moves to repeal carbon pricing and effectively abandons its commitment to the bipartisan five to 25 percent range of emissions reductions, two new reports have shown that its alternative Direct Action policy will end up increasing Australia’s emissions. The first, from the independent Climate Analytics, has found that the Government’s “one and only commitment” to reduce emissions by five percent on 2000 levels by 2020 is “inadequate”, consistent with a global pathway heading to average temperature rises of 3.5 to 4DegC, and not even likely to succeed as Direct Action will end up increasing emissions by 12 percent. The second, from Reputex, also found that not only will emissions rise by 13 percent under direct action, but that the cost of reductions under the Direct Action will triple to $20 dollars per tonne of carbon emissions. Australia’s backward steps on climate action this week have now earned it two Fossil of the Day awards at the UNFCCC’s COP19.

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RT @ClimateSpec: Direct Action will see emissions 11 per cent higher by 2020: analysts http://t.co/013n9xwiLC

Key Points

  • The carbon price would have bent Australia’s upwards emissions curve downwards for the first time, according to Climate Analytics director Dr Bill Hare, but its repeal and replacement with a policy that goes against the science is likely to see a re-carbonisation of the power sector. The Coalition continues to claim it is confident that Direct Action can achieve its (“inadequate”) five percent emissions reductions pledge, but independent studies continue to show that not only is the $3.2 billion allocated to the scheme insufficient to reach the five percent target, but that it will end up increasing emissions to between 12 and 13 percent instead of reducing them.

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Key quotes

  • “Australia’s climate legislation was a milestone for the country and it had finally begun to turn a corner on climate change. The legislation would have bent the relentless upward trend of its emissions curve downwards, moving Australia onto the first step toward a low carbon, climate-safe future, and created the governmental machinery needed for upgrading action. The proposed repeal will instead see a likely re-carbonisation of the power sector, the present machinery dismantled – and replaced by a climate policy that goes against the science.” Climate Analytics Director Dr Bill Hare.
  • “We have made one commitment and one commitment only, which is to reduce our emissions by five percent.” Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
  • “It’s time to draw a line in the sand. We won’t back down or delay. If Tony Abbott wants to make destroying action on global warming his first act, the Greens will make voting it down our first act. We need to expose what a sham Tony Abbott’s whole proposed direct action plan is. There is no plan. It is a slogan. He is full of slogans, he’s full of cheap lines but he’s not prepared to address global warming. And that is the crisis we are facing in this century.” Greens leader Christine Milne.
  • “A fortnight ago, the independent Climate Change Authority said the five percent was inadequate and those conditions enabled a much stronger target. Yesterday the Prime Minister spoke of vastly different conditions, which would lock Australia into this inadequate target.” Climate Institute CEO John Connor.

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More tweets

  • RT @guardianeco: Will Australia cause a slip on the climate change stepping stones in Warsaw? | Graham Readfearn http://t.co/6lJ5pYNfyV
  • RT @GetUp: Just three sleeps until the #climate rallies! @DoctorKarl is in – are you? http://t.co/VslkjOVD0D | RSVP @ http://t.co/Oxp8XUBXrx
  • RT @gmcnevin: #Australia wins #fossiloftheday (again) for attempted repeal #carbonprice
  • http://t.co/IxrW8BxRGu @UN_ClimateTalks #COP19