Mark Reeves, Pottsville
Thanks to the Greens, the carbon price seemed to be the first step in the right direction to deal with ‘the greatest moral challenge of our time’. But now it appears that Kevin Rudd has backflipped in order to score political points. And climate change denier Tony Abbott refers to a carbon tax as ‘the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one’.
To secure a safe climate we need strong leadership based on policy not politics. Labor’s scrapping of the carbon price is a move to having the polluters pay less and to slow down the transition to renewable energy. The Liberal and National’s direct action plan (which not a single economist or climate expert supports) pays the polluter to pollute at taxpayers’ expense.
We are facing a climate emergency. Independent climate scientists recently stated: we simply have to leave about 80 per cent of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We cannot afford to burn them and still have a stable and safe climate. Carbon capture and storage technology is proving to be a pipe dream, so it’s time to accept that the coal industry is terminal. The technology is there to quickly move to renewables – this means jobs, investment opportunities and significant greenhouse gas reduction.
The emissions trading scheme, previously dumped and now reinstated by Mr Rudd, does not contain strong investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and it locks in weak targets and high levels of compensation for big polluters. The Greens have said that they would support a well-designed ETS with more ambitious emission reduction targets than the pitiful five per cent by 2020. In the meantime we should stick with the carbon price package, which will deliver immediate pollution reduction.