Posts tagged ‘Greens Loans Scheme’

Part 3: Labor’s climate policy: so will we reach our paltry targets?

And we continue our special series on the Labor Party’s 2010 climate policies. Part one is here, and part 2 here. This edition, we discuss rewarding businesses for being responsible, chopping down trees that according to Labor don’t really exist, and we look at where we’re headed under Labor and where we need to go.

Rewarding business for energy efficiency

(hopefully they’ll turn off some lights too)

A one-off bonus tax deduction for businesses that undertake energy-efficiency capital works, starting from mid-2011. Cost of $180 million over four years, and $1 billion over a decade. Plus, in the meantime an extra $30 million for the Green Building Fund, which provides grants for retrofitting buildings. This is sensible, and could go even further. Wonder how long it will be before they start taking funding away from this one?

Rewarding business by freezing time

The government will keep emissions baselines frozen in time, rewarding businesses that reduce or constrain emissions before an ETS is introduced. If only we could freeze the entire world in time until Labor is ready to implement meaningful climate policies.

Green Start

(another embarrassing name change)

This policy replaces the Greens Loans Scheme, which offered interest-free loans to improve household energy efficiency, another scheme which had… issues. To make a fresh start (see what they did there?) Green Start scrapped the loans part and now offers energy assessments and some other vague unspecified energy efficiency help. Nobody knows, basically.

Photo: Peter Halasz

Native forest logging and logging and logging

Labor is arguing in international forums that emissions created from native forest logging should not be counted. Even though Victoria’s native forests are the most carbon rich in the world. And even though deforestation of native forests accounts for 20% of Australia’s net greenhouse gas emissions. Labor also says it is committed to a ‛net increase’ in Australia’s ‛vegetation cover’. Oooh, goody, more pine tree plantations where there used to be native forests!

Emissions target shooting

(too little, too late)

Just to recap. The IPCC is a group of scientists who issue comprehensive assessments on climate science. Their report states that to keep global warming at under 2 degrees celsius, Australia as a developed country needs to reduce emissions 40% lower than 1990 levels by 2020. HOWEVER, the IPCCs reports are always on the conservative side because it is a U.N. body and the world’s governments must approve their contents.

So here comes the really hard to take bit. Don’t worry, we’ll get through it together. (more…)

August 18, 2010 at 1:26 am 1 comment


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