Implications of the Coalition’s climate policy

Climate change Local government Power resources Australia

This short paper argues that the Coalition’s Climate policy remains unclear, and no independent analysis has shown that it can achieve substantial, absolute reductions in national emissions.

The new Coalition Government has said that it will seek to:

  • Remove a price and limit on Australia’s carbon pollution through the repeal of the Clean Energy Futures legislation. This would make Australia the first country to remove a carbon market.
  • Abolish the Climate Change Authority, which provides independent, non-partisan advice on Australia’s emission reduction goals and the effectiveness of policies to meet them.
  • Review, yet again, the Renewable Energy Target, which increases the share of electricity generated from renewable sources, and has driven $19 billion in clean energy investment since 2001.
  • Abolish the independent Clean Energy Finance Corporation and its $10 billion investment fund, which helps new low emission technologies enter the market.
  • Cut funding from the $500 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which supports the development of emerging low emission technologies like large scale solar power.
  • Cut funding from the Carbon Capture and Storage flagships program and the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative, which support carbon capture and storage (CCS), an essential technology for the world to achieve the required cuts in pollution.
  • Replace these with an Emissions Reduction Fund with a strictly limited annual budget to pay companies and landholders to cut their carbon pollution. The Coalition has committed $1.55 billion to this fund to 2016-17 (other small policies bring this to just over $2 billion).
  • Provide $9 million to the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility to continue coordinating research into adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

The net impact of removal of the carbon laws and other carbon polices (-$6.3 billion) and implementation of the Coalition’s climate policies (-$2.0 billion) is a cost of $8.3 billion to the federal budget.

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