The Opposition has taken a gamble before the July 2 poll, and opened itself up to attacks from the Coalition, by announcing its climate change pledge.
Under the plan, an ALP government would commit to a 45 per cent emissions reduction target (on 2005 levels) by 2030. That’s compared to the 26-28 per cent target set by the Federal Government.
Labor is also pledging that a Labor government would by 2030 make sure 50 per cent of Australia’s electricity is sourced by renewable energy.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced the policy at a Solar Research Facility in Brisbane.
“Labor is determined not only to tackle climate change but to make sure we are part of the renewable energy revolution in the future,” Mr Shorten said.
“I really believe that one of the greatest challenges for Australian households and the Australian economy over the next 10 years is inaction on climate change.”
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— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) April 27, 2016
Labor will now face a battle to stress to the Australian public that its climate change plan does not include a carbon tax. Two simple words which if used correctly by the Coalition could amount to political poison for Labor during the election campaign.
Bill Shorten’s #CarbonTax will be Julia Gillard’s #CarbonTax on steroids… with even higher electricity prices for Australian families
— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) April 26, 2016
“What Labor is proposing to do is another – a effectively another tax,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.
“In order to deliver a near doubling of our emissions target, they will have to very significantly increase the cost of energy, the cost of electricity and all other power.”
In a throwback to election 2013 Bill Shorten said, “There will be no carbon tax under Labor, there will be no fixed price under Labor.”
The Opposition said it will roll out smart meters to manage home power use, and appoint a panel of consumers and advocates in an effort to minimise the effect on low-income households.
“There will be no carbon tax under Labor, there will be no fixed price under Labor.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the Federal Government is already doing enough to reach the Kyoto Protocol targets, and questioned Labor’s ETS target.
“The Labor Party has come forward and they’ve just said, ‘what we’re going to do is because it sounds good, because it looks good on the back of a beer coaster, we’re going to say 45%’,” Mr Joyce said.
An ETS was Kevin Rudd’s biggest election promise in 2007, which ultimately he backed away from after a sustained attack from then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Director of the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy, Frank Jotzo, said Labor has provided a comprehensive statement of policy intent but it lacks detail.
“Labor’s idea of a stand-alone emissions trading scheme for the power sector is similar to what the government may intend. It is not economically optimal, rather it is fashioned to deal with the difficult politics of the issue,” Mr Jotzo said.
Labor’s pledge Make Australia a Leading Renewable Energy Economy by ensuring that 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030. Cleaner Power Generation ensuring that the modernisation underway in Australia’s electricity generation from old heavy polluting coal fired power stations to modern clean energy. Securing the future of critical Australian industries through a Strategic Industries Task Force. This will be supported by a Strategic Industries Reserve Fund of $300m to support the transition of key industries to 2020.Reduce Pollution through an Emissions Trading Scheme, placing a legal cap on the emissions of large polluters through a cap and offsets scheme, while supporting industry by ensuring access to international carbon offsets. Capture Carbon on the Land by reinvigorating the Carbon Farming Initiative to encourage carbon storage on the land and in agriculture, and taking decisive action to deal with broad scale land clearing.Implementing new emissions standards for motor vehicles to cut pollution on our roads.