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Greens: climate policies challenge ALP to do more

Greens renewables-policy-election-2019

VOTERS IN EDEN-MONARO need little reminding that we are in the grip of a climate crisis. Our region’s farmlands are drying out; water storages are falling fast; and our towns and cities have just endured sweltering summer temperatures. We’ve got to act now if our nation, planet and children are to have a sustainable future.

The Greens stand for strong action on climate change. Our targets are more ambitious than Labor’s: by 2030 we want up to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 80% compared to 2005 levels. That’s the scale of reduction we need to safeguard the climate. Labor is aiming for only half of that (with a 45% cut). The Greens want 100% national renewable electricity supply by 2030 while, again, Labor only wants a modest 50% renewables by then.

The fact is, carbon pricing worked to lower emissions until Coalition undid it

There’s no point having targets without a plan to reach them and that’s where The Greens are most different to the ALP. The Greens know that the national carbon pricing mechanism Australia had between 2012 and 2014, which The Greens negotiated with the Gillard Labor government, generated the greatest reduction in our nation’s emissions ever recorded and did so without the dire economic outcomes naysayers foreshadowed. So, The Greens want a national carbon price restored, enabling it to pick up from where it left off before Tony Abbott trashed it.

Instead of returning to its own proven mechanism, however, Labor wants to adopt the Turnbull government’s discredited National Energy Guarantee which hides the cost of pollution and is much more cumbersome to manage. Labor even wants to reheat the Coalition’s ineffective Emission Reduction Fund Safeguard Mechanism which is meant to reduce the emissions of our largest emitters but doesn’t.

Phase out coal quickly with transition planning

The Greens don’t want to waste precious time on tired old mechanisms with no teeth, we want to reduce our nation’s dependence on thermal coal as quickly as possible. Under our plan, all coal-fired power stations will close by 2035 and thermal coal exports will cease by 2030 (backed by a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund). Other nations are moving rapidly away from dependence on fossil fuels and it’s time we did, too.

There is no place for the proposed Adani coal mine in the energy future we need to create. That’s why The Greens will continue to work with the community to halt this project.

Lower costs: what new public electricity retailer and authority could do

The Greens plan includes a new government-owned electricity retailer, Power Australia, to deliver low-cost electricity and increase competition, as well as a Renew Australia authority to buy back vital electricity transmission interconnectors and establish much needed renewable energy zones around our country. We also plan to subsidise household solar batteries by $7,000 per battery (compared to Labor’s $2,000 rebate).

There’s only one party providing the leadership and vision to properly tackle Australia’s climate crisis and that’s The Greens. Read more about our plan for a clean energy future.

The Greens have indicated that, all things considered for the climate and social programs, in their preference recommendation to Greens voters, they advise putting Labor #2.

•  Shorten finds his voice on climate change
    by Katherine Murphy, The Guardian



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