Press release – 12 November, 2013Wednesday 13 November, 2013: Greenpeace is accusing the Coalition of running a scorched earth policy on climate change following today’s tabling of legislation to ditch the carbon price despite having no credible alternative.“This government seems hell bent on sowing the fields of Australia with salt,” said Greenpeace Programme Director Ben Pearson. “While Tony Abbott may believe he has a mandate to abolish the carbon price, he still has a duty to implement effective policy to deal with climate change.
In just a few weeks, the Climate Commission has been abolished, Australia’s largest coal mine approved, the international climate negotiations snubbed, and now our modest carbon price is on the chopping block. For the coal industry, Christmas has come early.”
Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and the emissions from Australia’s exported coal far outweigh our domestic emissions. Current proposals – such as the massive Kevin’s Corner mine recently approved by Environment Minister Greg Hunt – could see Australia’s coal exports more than double, with the required new port developments in Queensland directly threatening the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
As legislation is introduced to abolish the carbon price, Greenpeace is calling on the Coalition to explain exactly how it will meet the existing bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 before repealing any existing climate laws, particularly given that the target must be increased for Australia to play its part in avoiding dangerous climate change. Just two weeks ago, the independent Climate Change Authority described the 5 per cent target as inadequate and called for consideration of a target in the range of 15-25 per cent. However, recent statements by the Coalition cast doubt on whether they will even make a token effort to meet the 5 per cent target.
“The Coalition went to the election committed to meeting Australia’s existing greenhouse pollution reduction target. Yet abolishing the policies and laws designed to meet that target without a viable alternative clearly demonstrates that the Government is committed only to coal industry profits, and will sacrifice Australia’s future to protect them”, said Pearson.
For more info contact Greenpeace Programme Director Ben Pearson on 0424 575 111 or Communications Manager James Lorenz on 0400 376 021