Media Releases | 1st Sep, 2016

Climate Change Authority report highlights Coalition’s poor policy

The Turnbull Government’s climate change policies are completely inadequate to deal with the crisis of global warming, Environment Victoria said today in response to the release of the Climate Change Authority’s special report.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:

“Even the Coalition’s hand-picked members of the Climate Change Authority think the Turnbull government’s climate policies are not up to the job.

“We welcome the recommendation to tighten the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Safeguard Mechanism. As it currently stands, the mechanism provides no safeguard at all and even allows Australia’s emissions to significantly increase with no penalties for those responsible. The ERF is failing to drive the fundamental change needed in Australia’s electricity system, which is our largest single source of climate pollution.

“A baseline and credit scheme based on emissions intensity could be an effective way of reducing climate pollution, but only if the scheme is ambitious and drives transformational change.

“Minister Frydenberg’s comments that ‘many of the most polluting power stations have already closed’ ignores the fact that the four most polluting power stations in the country – Victoria’s brown coal generators – are still operating and are more likely to remain so without a government-led solution. The most effective climate policy would retire the dirtiest power stations first, like Hazelwood and Yallourn.

“The Coalition’s emissions targets are unacceptable. The science tells us we need to cut emissions urgently, and it is disappointing that the Climate Change Authority didn’t comment on this inadequacy. If global warming increases above 1.5 or 2 degrees, Minister Frydenberg’s talk of high electricity prices will be the least of our concerns.

“You wouldn’t take a fifty-fifty chance of a bridge collapsing when you drive over it. By keeping their weak emissions targets, the Coalition is proposing to take terrible odds on all of our futures. This is unacceptable and irresponsible. A responsible government would have a credible plan that deals with the urgency of climate change and a policy to rapidly reduce emissions.”

For interview and further comment:

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager,
DIRECT: (03) 9341 8112 MOBILE: 0402 512 121