Posts tagged ‘Labor’
Update 16 May: climate change a vote changer
Polling done by Essential vision shows that most people approve the higher climate targets and the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme in Labor’s climate plan. The polling was published on May 3 and supports previous polling in March that a majority of Australians want greater action on climate change.
The survey found that 57 per cent of voting age people approved of the Labor Party’s higher climate targets that more closely match the science and carbon emissions policy. Just 21 per cent disapproved of these targets and implementation of an ETS.
As anyone who follows these pages regularly would know, Victoria has a lot of Brown Coal. We dig massive holes the size of towns so can we burn it to heat water to make steam which makes our electricity. We also have plans to dig even more of it up so we can get other countries to burn it on our behalf. And if that doesn’t work we’ll bury it underground again after we’ve burnt it so we can continue to dig crater like holes in the Victorian countryside.
In fact – rather then withering on a vine Victoria’s brown coal industry looks like it might be set for a new vintage. The Age recently reported that a Transport Department submission revealed a possible $24 billion could be invested in brown coal over the next decade. (more…)
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.
(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.
(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.
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…)
This is the second part of our special series on the Labor Party’s 2010 climate policies. Part one is here. This edition, we discuss the funding shuffle dance that is Labor’s renewable energy policies.
Renewable Energy Future Fund (is this superannuation for wind farms?)
Well, it’s $652 million to support renewable energy projects, and development of low emissions technologies. It will also be used for energy efficiency programs for households and business. Sounds good, investing in new renewable technologies, doesn’t it? Except, as the Beyond Zero Emissions report outlines, we already have the technology to transition Australia to 100% clean energy.
But hey, we can always improve on existing technology, right? And household energy efficiency is a really effective, cheap way to reduce emissions, so that’s a great use of taxpayer dollars. Only problem: $9 million of this renewable energy money will be used to pay for the Big New Focus Group (BNFG) Huh. Wonder what else they’ll drain this one for. Don’t worry, it’s just a Future Fund, and the future never arrives! Right?
Connecting to the matrix
This is a new policy announcement – $1 billion over a decade to connect renewable energy projects to the electricity grid. Now, if we could only take that $2 billion going into ‛clean coal’ research and put it into actual renewable energy, we might have something substantial to connect to the grid. And how about the rest of the $9 billion we spend on fossil fuel subsidies? We could connect up a lot of renewable energy projects with $9 billion!
Solar Flagships (conjuring up confused images of ships with flags and solar panels)
This was announced in last year’s budget and was supposed to be a $1.5 billion program to establish large solar-power stations. This is great, yes? This is what Australians want – large scale renewable projects! So how’s it going so far? (more…)