Palmer's news: the good, the uncertain and the ugly Media Release

Jun 25, 2014 - 8:51pm

Tonight’s statement and press conference from Clive Palmer is in part good, uncertain and ugly, with any proper analysis requiring more detail, said The Climate Institute. 

“The ‘good’ is clearly that the Renewable Energy Target and agencies like the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority, might remain in place and unscathed,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.

“The ‘ugly’ is the potential repeal of the carbon price.”

“The ‘uncertain’ is whether the Palmer United Party’s call for an emissions trading scheme, or ETS, is a pre-condition for repeal of the carbon price and exactly what is intended. The devil is in the detail.”

“A strict interpretation of the requirements for an ETS with similar schemes at national levels among major trading partners would mean an extremely high threshold unlikely to be achievable this decade. A less literal interpretation of international action, with the Climate Change Authority having a role, could mean an entirely different thing. The Authority itself said in a report earlier this year that there already is significant international action underway.”

The Climate Institute has documented the action in Asia, by China, Korea and Japan, and more recently in the US with the announcement of new rules for coal-fired power stations. 

Connor added: “This may be all irrelevant if the proposed amendment to the Climate Change Authority legislation follows the repeal of the carbon price. These are details that need to be clarified.”

“In our view, tonight underlines that the repeal of the carbon laws should not be rushed. Far better to allow the new Senate to have an inquiry into the proposed alternatives and the consequences of potentially broken promises in relation to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which remained unmentioned tonight.”

“It is also important to remember that the Prime Minister re-affirmed in the election debates the Coalition’s promise to go beyond the minimum five per cent target, should international circumstances change.”

New polling released by The Climate Institute on Monday found that for the first time in two years, more Australians want to keep the carbon laws than repeal them, while a majority think that the Abbott Government should take climate change more seriously. It also found a rebound in the desire for Australia to lead on climate change and strong support for renewable energy.

Connor concluded: “It should be recognised that Mr Palmer has come a long way today and declared that he has an open mind on the issue.  We will continue to work to the last moment to ensure the current laws that price and reduce pollution remain with their integrity intact.  We should not be returning to our biggest companies an entitlement to pollute for free.”   
For more information
Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299 

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