PARTNERING WITH BIG BUSINESS TO BRING DOWN POLLUTION

A Shorten Labor Government will work with Australia’s biggest industrial polluters to help them cut their pollution, grow their business and create a cleaner future for the next generation.

Ignoring climate change isn’t the answer. 

Real action on climate change isn’t just about protecting our environment – it’s about future-proofing our economy and protecting jobs.

Under the Liberals and Nationals industrial pollution has risen by 17 percent, and their own projections show it will rise all the way to 2030.

That’s why Labor will work in partnership with business to help bring down pollution – providing overdue policy certainty and helping the industrial sector plan for the future.

There will be no carbon tax, carbon pricing mechanism, or government revenue.

Rather, Labor will reduce pollution from the biggest industrial polluters by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull – the safeguard mechanism.

The safeguard mechanism was established under the Liberals and Nationals to cap industrial pollution for the biggest polluters, by setting pollution limits or ‘baselines’ for covered facilities.

However, the Liberals and Nationals have failed to make this mechanism effective in bringing down pollution, or incentivising reduction of pollution below a facility’s baseline.

Labor has listened to industry and stakeholders who desperately want stability after this chaotic government – they don’t want to start from scratch with another mechanism. Industry feedback has been unanimous, businesses want Labor to expand the safeguard mechanism, and we’ve listened.

Labor will expand the safeguard mechanism to make it effective and relevant:

  • Coverage will be extended to apply to the biggest industrial polluters. Labor will work with industry to extend coverage to a threshold of 25,000 tonnes of direct CO2 pollution annually, and we will consult with industry on this coverage threshold and how it is phased in. It’s estimated around 250 of Australia’s biggest industrial polluters would be captured by this threshold – just 0.01 per cent of all businesses. The agricultural sector will not be covered by the expanded safeguard mechanism, and Labor will work with the red meat industry-owned Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia, to help it meet its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. Likewise, electricity sector facilities will not be included – they will be covered separately by Labor’s Energy Plan.

 

  • Pollution levels will be reduced: Labor’s safeguard mechanism will reduce industrial pollution in line with Labor’s targets – fixing one of the biggest issues with the current safeguards mechanism, its failure to bring down pollution. Labor will consult with industry on the baselines and trajectories that apply to each covered entity.

 

  • Businesses will be able to earn credits for overachievement: Labor will allow for businesses to earn credits and be rewarded for reducing pollution below their baselines, which they can sell or carry over to meet their future pollution cap. This means businesses can make money out of cutting pollution.

 

  • Emissions intensive trade exposed industries (EITEs) will be supported to keep Australian businesses competitive – In recognition that emission intensive trade exposed industries face particular challenges in reducing pollution while maintaining their international competitiveness, Labor will provide tailored treatment for EITEs such as steel, aluminium and cement. This will ensure they face comparable impacts from climate change policies as their competitors do in relevant international markets. Labor will also establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce and $300m Strategic Industries Reserve Fund to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive.

Labor will consult with industry and experts on baselines that should apply to individual entities and how they will decrease over time.

In addition, Labor will put in place a well-functioning offset market and reinvigorate the land offset market.

Currently, a facility that emits more than its baseline must offset excess emissions by purchasing offsets, primarily from the land sector. But currently businesses cannot access international offsets, or offsets from the electricity sector.

Labor will make it easier for covered businesses to meet any offset obligations, not only by allowing for the creation and sale of offsets if emissions fall below baselines, but also through the purchase of international offsets and potentially offsets from the electricity sector.

We will also boost offset supply through revitalising the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) – including reforms to strengthen the integrity of the CFI, and increasing land and other sector abatement opportunities. This will include exploring the establishment of ‘premium’ land sector credits to provide substantial environmental, biodiversity and other co-benefits, establishing a Carbon Assessment Standard to boost the bankability of offset projects, and re-vitalising offset methodology research and development with an additional $40 million in funding over four years.

Labor’s plan will help industry reduce pollution at least cost, and give traditional owners, farmers, the forestry industry and traditional owners new opportunities to earn income.

Labor will also abolish the Liberal’s ineffective and expensive Emission Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF has failed to drive down Australia’s emissions, while costing Australian taxpayers $2.25 billion, with the Liberals pledging a further $2 billion for this ineffective policy.

Labor’s approach isn’t about punishing polluters, it’s about partnering with industry to find real, practical solutions to cut pollution, in a way that protects and grows industry and jobs.

The Liberal Party is full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change – Scott Morrison even brought a lump of coal into Parliament instead of a climate policy.

The Liberals and Nationals have pushed up power prices and pollution by undermining investment in renewable energy and backing power privatisations – and their chaos and division means industry can’t adequately plan and invest in the future.

There is only one major political party serious about real action on climate change – Labor. That’s because we are determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation – and we will partner with business and industry to achieve it.

Only Labor will deliver real action on climate change and lower pollution, lower power prices and a stronger economy.

More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan

LABOR WILL ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND HAND A BETTER DEAL TO OUR KIDS

A Shorten Labor Government will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change – to ensure we hand on a better deal to the next generation.

After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.

Ignoring climate change is simply not an answer.

Australia needs leadership – to protect jobs, grow the economy, cut pollution and deal with more extreme weather like droughts and floods, with natural disasters already costing the economy $18 billion a year.

At the same time, Australian households are seeing their power bills soar – families and businesses are taking this into their own hands and backing renewable energy because they know more renewables means lower power prices.

Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050.

We are also committed to 50 per cent renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030.

Labor’s plan will tackle climate change to keep the economy growing by:

  • Investing in renewable energy and batteries to grow jobs and cut power bills  With almost two million Australian households having solar panels, Australians are enthusiastic adopters of renewables. Labor will empower Australians to take advantage of cheaper, clean renewable energy and storage, by offering $2000 rebates for solar batteries for 100,000 households, with a target of 1,000,000 batteries by 2025. We will also double the original investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation by $10 billion, supporting new generation and storage across the country. Labor’s investment will support our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 for the nation’s electricity generation, which will see cleaner and cheaper power and more than 70,000 new jobs.

 

  • Boosting clean transport and infrastructure– A key part of tackling pollution will be tackling transport emissions – which make up almost 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions and one of the fastest growing sources of pollution. Labor will implement Australia’s first national electric vehicle policy, setting a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 and introducing vehicle emissions standards to reduce pollution and make the cost of driving a car cheaper for consumers.

 

  • Working in partnership with business to help bring down pollution – Labor will reduce pollution by big polluters over the decade by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull – the safeguard mechanism. Australia’s biggest industrial polluters (about 250 – or just 0.01 per cent of all businesses) will be covered by Labor’s scheme, which will not include the agricultural sector. Pollution caps will be reduced over time and Labor will make it easier for businesses to meet these caps by allowing for industrial and international offsets. Facilities can also earn credits and make money from reducing pollution below their baselines. Labor will not introduce a carbon tax or new a carbon pricing mechanism and our reforms will not raise any government revenue.

 

  • Supporting trade exposed industries to keep Australian businesses competitive – Emission intensive trade exposed industries (EITEs), such as steel, aluminium and cement, face additional barriers to cutting pollution while staying competitive in global markets. In recognition of this, Labor will provide tailored treatment for EITEs under the extended safeguard mechanism. This will ensure they face comparable impacts from climate change policies as their competitors do in relevant international markets. Labor will also establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce and $300m Strategic Industries Reserve Fund to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive.

 

  • Helping the land sector to cut pollution while giving farmers and the forestry industry new opportunities to earn income – No one knows our land better than our farmers – they’ve been leading the way in responding to climate change. The agricultural sector will be exempt from the expanded safeguard mechanism – we won’t have targets for farmers. Labor wants to see Australia’s land sector supply more affordable offsets for pollution, which will reduce the cost of abatement for business and give farmers and regional communities greater economic opportunities. We will review and reinvigorate the carbon farming initiative, and develop a high-quality, well-functioning offset market. Labor will also put in place new federal legislation to bring broad-scale land clearing under control. Where states properly regulate land clearing, such as in Queensland, Labor will take no action.

In addition, Labor has taken the decision not to allow the use of Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets. By allowing the carryover of Kyoto credits, the Liberals’ already weak target effectively falls from 26 per cent to 16 per cent. Using Kyoto credits is fake action on climate change, and Ukraine is the only other country in the world to confirm they will do this.

Labor will restore and reform important institutions like the Climate Change Authority, and to make sure we can adapt to a changing climate, we will conduct the first ever comprehensive Climate Change Assessment on the likely and potential impacts of climate change on all aspects of Australian life.

Our policy has been developed in consultation with industry and experts, and it builds on already announced policies like our Energy Plan and Hydrogen Plan.

It’s a good plan for families, for industry – and for the planet.

The Liberal Party is full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change – Scott Morrison even brought a lump of coal into Parliament instead of a climate policy.
The Liberals have helped push up power prices by having 13 different energy policies, undermining investment in renewable energy, supporting taxpayer money for new coal plants and backing power privatisations.
There is only one major political party serious about real action on climate change – Labor.  That’s because we are determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation.

Only Labor will deliver real action on climate change to deliver lower pollution, lower power prices and a stronger economy.

More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan

Joint committee of animal extinction inquiry recommends new environment laws and a new EPA

The interim report from the Senate inquiry into Australia’s animal extinction crisis recommends new environment laws to limit the drivers of extinction, including habitat destruction and climate change.

These laws would include a new, independent EPA that would be given powers, resources and funding to assess activity and ensure compliance.

“The current laws are so weak with caveats, exemptions, ministerial discretion and loopholes that projects can be given the green light despite destroying or damaging critical habitat, or even wiping out a species entirely,” said Australian Greens Senator Janet Rice, Chair of the Inquiry.

“Australia’s extinction crisis has only got worse in the 20 years since our environment laws were introduced. It’s absolutely clear they need a complete overhaul.”

“Finally we have an acknowledgement from Labor that new environment laws and a new EPA are needed to limit the drivers of extinction such as habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.”

“But we know Labor is prone to backflips when it comes to protecting the environment. Just this week WA Labor has joined with the Morrison government to roll over outdated and destructive logging laws, the Regional Forest Agreements, despite promising to protect native forests from logging before they were elected.”

“Extinction is a political choice. In the next parliament, the Greens will hold Bill Shorten and the Labor party to account on their promises.”

SA on a road to nowhere under Liberals

South Australians have been left high and dry under Scott Morrison’s pre-election budget.

“With no marginal seats to throw cash at, South Australia was always set to lose in this pre-election budget. And we will continue to lose out under a Liberal Party more concerned with political survival than what’s good for the country. All we’re left with after Tuesday’s fake budget is a massive hit to GST revenue and a bucket of empty promises,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“We live in a state that wants more investment in renewable energy and real action on climate change, and the Liberals have given us nothing. Hard-working families struggling with cost of living pressures can have no faith that the Liberals will strengthen our economy or set our state up for the future.

“The more than 65,000 South Australians languishing on Newstart have been left out in the cold by the Morrison Government. The Liberals have given out tax cuts to the wealthy and done nothing for the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Instead, the Morrison Government is merely trying to buy people’s votes with tax cuts and handouts, over investing in essential services.

“The Greens will fight for a more equal society, well-funded essential services, action on climate and building South Australia into a global renewable powerhouse. The Liberals clearly do not care about South Australia. Their bogus budget and their phony politics should be rejected on polling day.”

Budget infrastructure spending shows a complete lack of vision and porkbarrelling, say Greens

The Morrison’s government’s infrastructure spending demonstrates a complete lack of vision and pre-election porkbarrelling to save the skin of incumbent Coalition MPs, say the Australian Greens.

“The centrepiece of the Government’s high-speed or “fast” rail policy, the perennial election sweetener that never materialises when one of the major parties forms government, is to fund another five feasibility studies, taking the total number to eight,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens transport and infrastructure spokesperson.

“Only 15% of grant funding is going to rail projects, with the bulk going to roads. As our big cities grow and congestion becomes worse, we need to be focusing on pubic and active transport projects, not more roads that leave people stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, clog our cities and increase carbon pollution.”

“The government wants to spend $500 million building carparks around train stations in a marginal seat porkbarrel cash splash, with no analysis of whether this money would be better spent in other ways, such as providing faster and more frequent bus services to stations.”

“This government has no vision to come up with the transport solutions we so desperately need.”

Christmas Island reopening a cynical waste

The Liberals spending $185m to reopen and then close Christmas Island is rank cynicism and deeply wasteful, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“This is effectively $185 million spent on a press conference, so Scott Morrison could spread his message of hate and division, ” Senator McKim said.

“Not a single refugee or person seeking asylum has been transferred to this centre. It is tens of millions of dollars wasted on a press conference.”

“This is money that should be spent on resettling people here in Australia, or on climate  action, or raising Newstart or myriad other worthy causes.”

“This is the same Scott Morrison who begrudged a few thousand dollars being spent so refugees could attend the funerals of their relatives.”

“This cynical stunt just shows the depth of his hypocrisy and meanness of spirit.”

ABC will continue to lose out under Liberals

Scott Morrison’s pre-election budget has confirmed cuts to the ABC will continue under the Liberals, the Greens say.

“This is a government that has undermined the integrity of the ABC again and again and now, in this budget, they’ve locked in further cuts. The ABC needs a boost in funding, and under this government it continues to lose out,” Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“This was an opportunity to ensure our ABC was well-resourced, by increasing funding and setting five-year funding cycles. Instead, the Liberals want to cut funding and 50 more jobs.

“This comes on the back of almost $340 million in funding cuts, pointless reviews that undermine the ABC’s independence and instances of political interference.

“Even the Labor Party won’t return the Liberal Party’s full cuts to the ABC. The only way to strengthen the ABC, to restore its funding and give our beloved public broadcaster stability and certainty, is to have Greens fighting for it in the Senate.

“The ABC is overwhelmingly Australia’s most trusted news source. It provides a vital service across the country, it is where we turn when there is a disaster, emergency or bushfire. To do its job as the public expects, to continue producing the new Australians trust and the stories we love, the ABC must be well-funded.”

$400k in Budget for national EV strategy a joke, say Greens

The Morrison government’s $400,000 allocation for a national electric vehicle strategy in the Budget is an absolute joke, especially when they have allocated 25 times as much in luxury car rebates, say the Australian Greens.

“The staggeringly low $400,000 to roll out a national electric vehicle strategy is an absolute joke,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens transport spokesperson.

“With this woeful amount of money towards electric vehicles, the Morrison government is leaving Australia stalled on the sidelines of the electric vehicle revolution while the rest of the world zips us by.”

“The Budget even has $11 million earmarked for a luxury car rebate for tourist operators and primary producers. This is 25 times more funding for people to buy luxury cars than for a national electric vehicle strategy.”

“This is a government with absolutely no plan, no vision and no desire to get Australia on track to enjoy the many benefits that electric vehicles will bring.”

$245.7m for school chaplains puts LGBTIQ+ students in danger, say Greens

The Morrison government putting $245.7 million into religious chaplains in secular, public schools over the next four years puts LGBTIQ+ students in danger, say the Australian Greens.

“$245.7 million for religious chaplains in public schools is unacceptable and puts LGBTIQ+ students in danger,” said Senator Janet Rice, Australian Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson.

“Public schools are secular institutions and are no place for religious chaplains.”

“The school chaplain program should be scrapped and the $245.7 million funding should be redirected to providing public schools with trained, secular counsellors, and inclusive anti-bullying programs like Safe Schools, not chaplains who may be pursuing their own religious agenda.”

$3.8 Billion for Climate and Environment

The Morrison Government is delivering more than $3.8 billion for a better environment in the 2019 20 Budget, including Australia’s biggest ever direct investment in emissions reduction.

$3.5 billion will be invested through the Climate Solutions Package with a further $137.4 million for Practical Environment Restoration which includes funding for environmental protection projects, threatened species, the restoration of coastal land and waterways, and waste recycling.

This investment highlights the critical role of a strong economy in supporting positive environmental outcomes. Our commitments will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure Australia meets its international climate targets and address local environmental challenges, while maintaining a strong economy.

At a time when Australia is seeing record levels of investment in renewable energy, with $25 billion committed across 18,800 MW of new wind and solar projects, the 2019-20 Budget assists our transition towards a low carbon economy and provides practical environmental solutions that will benefit future generations.

Climate Solutions Package:
The $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package is the biggest single investment any Australian government has made in reducing emissions. This funding will help ensure we meet our Paris commitment to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Its centrepiece is a $2.0 billion Climate Solutions Fund, which is expected to deliver more than 100 million tonnes of emissions reduction, over and above the almost 200 million tonnes being delivered through the successful Emissions Reduction Fund.

The Climate Solutions Package also includes significant investments in renewable energy to reduce emissions, while ensuring Australian households and businesses have lower power prices and reliable dispatchable power that keeps the lights on:

  • $1.38 billion for Snowy 2.0 ensuring clean, reliable affordable power.
  • $56.0 million for a new electricity interconnector to support Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project.
  • $61.2 million to support small businesses, local community groups, households and building owners to improve energy efficiency.
  • $400,000 for the development of a National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

Cleaner Environment Package:
The Morrison Government’s $137.4 million for Practical Environment Restoration builds on the Government’s $1.1 billion National Landcare Program, which is already funding a range of environmental initiatives including Indigenous Protected Areas and Regional Land Partnerships that support wetland preservation, sustainable farming, threatened species and native habitats. The Practical Environment Restoration provides $100.0 million for the establishment of an Environment Restoration Fund that will support practical action on waste and recycling, the protection of rivers, waterways and coasts, and further support for our threatened and migratory native species.

It also includes $28.3 million of funding for a Communities Environment Program for community-led environment projects. The Government has also committed $9.2 million over four years towards the strengthening of biodiversity conservation in Queensland tropics through the control of the Yellow Crazy Ant population.

The 2019-20 Budget is also supporting the environment through:

  • $25.0 million for the establishment of a National Centre for coasts, environment, climate research and education facility at Victoria’s Quarantine Station Precinct at Point Nepean.
  • $25.0 million for the establishment of the Harry Butler Environmental Education Centre through Murdoch University, which will include an innovation hub developing sustainable environmental outcomes from economic development.
  • $18.3 million to accelerate the eradication of red imported fire ants in Queensland.
  • $34 million to grow stewardship and sustainable land management practices in agriculture.
  • $32.1 million to extend the Bureau of Meteorology radar coverage and rain monitoring capability across northern NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
  • $21.4 million for infrastructure upgrades at key defence heritage sites around Sydney Harbour enabling community, educational and recreational use.

Since the Coalition came to Government in 2013, we have:

  • Turned around a 755 million tonne emissions shortfall in meeting our 2020 international emissions reduction target to now be on track to overachieve that target by 367 million tonnes.
  • Improved the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef, prompting UNESCO to remove the reef from its “in-danger” watchlist.
  • Introduced protection for an additional 2.3 million square kilometres of Australia’s oceans.
  • Appointed Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner and launched the Threatened Species Strategy which contains a commitment to turn around population trajectories for 20 mammals, 20 birds and 30 plants by 2020.

Key spending commitments since 2013 include:

  • $2.55 billion in the Emissions Reduction Fund.
  • More than $1.1 billion in Phase 2 of the National Landcare Program (2018-23).
  • Over $1.2 billion to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Up to $216 million to upgrade Kakadu National Park and help the township of Jabiru transition to a tourism-based economy.
  • Over $450 million over the next 10 years to upgrade Australia’s Antarctic research station network and supporting infrastructure.
  • $1.35 billion in grant funding for more than 400 renewable energy projects through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
  • $6.4 billion funding through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in projects with a total value of more than $21 billion.