ALP Climate Policy: Holding Our Heads A Little Higher

05 April, 2019, 05:23 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • A Sydney shopper

As expected, Labor is planning to expand the Turnbull Government's safeguard mechanism, forcing around 250 of Australia's biggest polluters to cap their emissions - while exempting the farming sector.

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.

"What we need is cuts in pollution". Labor's policy would lift our reputation internationally. "Farmers understand that if we don't act on climate change, there will be more frequent and more protracted droughts, floods, dust storms and hail storms", he said.

Australia's A$1.9 trillion economy is heavily dependent on resources with coal and iron ore its top export earners.

"We allow business to trade in every other robust global market, why on earth would we not allow them to trade in worldwide carbon markets - provided, of course that they're robust and they're credible", he said.

"This is the Liberals' own mechanism - we've listened to business who want stability and that's what this offers", she said.

Reportedly, businesses will have to meet their declining baselines by either buying offsets to cover any difference, which will impose a cost on their operations, or by reducing their emissions to an agreed level.


Some big polluters had their baseline set above their worst polluting days, meaning the limit effectively allowed them to increase emissions.

"Labor will take real action on climate change, by working with industries to bring down pollution, protect competitiveness and jobs, and build the industries of the future", the action plan said.

The new safeguard mechanism will apply to businesses that produce more than 25,000 tonnes of direct Carbon dioxide emissions a year - an estimated 0.01 of all businesses - a big reduction on the current level that applies to polluters emitting more than 100,000 tonnes.

Australia is on track to exceed its 2020 Kyoto target and the Morrison Government last month confirmed plans to count the excess credits towards the 2030 Paris commitment.

Agriculture and electricity generators will not be covered by the expanded safeguard mechanism.

Announcing the party will meet its target to cut Australia's emissions by 45 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 by beefing up existing pollution caps - known as the safeguard mechanism - shadow energy minister Mark Butler said Labor would work with industry to determine the details of how this would happen.

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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