Despite years of expert criticism, the Turnbull government has reviewed its own climate policies and decided to remain inadequate and ineffective, independent charity Environment Victoria said today.
Before the 2016 federal election, Prime Minister Turnbull and then-Environment Minister Greg Hunt effectively told Australians to trust them on climate change, because they would review their policies after the election. This review has just been released and represents the final disappointment for a politician who once professed to care about climate change.
Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:
“The result of the government’s promised review of climate policies is now in: Malcolm Turnbull has failed Australia on the biggest threat facing our country.
“The real test of a climate policy is whether it puts us on a trajectory to keep warming well below 2 degrees, which is what Australia committed to as part of the Paris Agreement.
“This climate review makes it clear the Turnbull government has no intention of putting us on that trajectory to keep warming below 2 degrees. Saying ‘we’ll meet our 2030 target’ means nothing if your target is hopelessly low.
“Once again, the Turnbull government has shirked responsibility for climate change.
“Emissions from electricity fell only because of something that the Turnbull government doesn’t want to see repeated – the closure of a major coal-burning power station.
“The closure of Hazelwood early in 2017 should have prompted the realisation that retiring coal-burning power stations is essential for a just transition to a zero emission economy. Instead, the Coalition has railed against anything that might lead to future retirements, even those as far off as Liddell power station’s closure in 2022.
“The Coalition spent 2017 working out how to avoid an energy policy that would boost renewable energy. Instead they have concocted the National Energy Guarantee, a policy designed to keep polluting coal clunkers open for longer, stall investment in clean renewable energy and protect the interests of Australia’s biggest and greediest energy retailers.
“The Abbott/Turnbull government’s Emissions Reduction Fund has already been exposed as full of loopholes. The climate review’s ‘Next Steps’ for the Fund’s ‘Safeguard Mechanism’ indicates that the safeguard will be weakened even further, to allow emissions to continue to grow. This completely defeats the purpose of having a Safeguard Mechanism and shows it is purely decorative.
“And not for the first time, the Turnbull government has kept a significant announcement on climate change until just days before Christmas. It’s the perfect way to sneak coal into the stockings of Australia’s future for yet another year,” said Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle.
Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager
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