Federal political party positions on carbon pricing

23 Jul 2010Archived News Climate Change Matters

In the wake of Julia Gillard’s speech this morning, it is now clearer than ever that neither major party is likely to impose a price on carbon in the short term.

The Liberal party opposes a price on carbon. The Labor party has deferred a decision about its introduction until 2012. Future policy announcements are expected of all parties through the remainder of the election campaign, especially with regard to the outcomes of the Prime Minister's Task Group on Energy Efficiency.

The Australian Labor Party – 5% unconditional greenhouse gas reduction by 2020. Cap and trade scheme (CPRS) legislation deferred until 2013 at the earliest. Abatement actions by liable parties before that time will be credited by awarding carbon pollution permits based on current calculated baselines. Any future policy will be ‘informed’ by a new ‘Citizen’s Assembly’ (a means of participatory democracy) which, combined with a Climate Change Commission is intended to inform community opinion and build community consensus around future climate change policy directions. $1 billion invested over 10 years in electricity network expansion to support remote geothermal and wind projects, however the current 20% renewable energy target remains unchanged.

The Liberal Party – 5% unconditional greenhouse gas reduction by 2020. No price on carbon or legislated cap on national emissions. Greenhouse gas abatement to be funded via an Emissions' Reduction Fund targeting soil carbon, generator efficiency, forestry, and potentially extending to end-use energy efficiency or other measures ‘as required’. The Greenhouse Friendly offset program will be restored (as there is no national emissions cap). $100 million will be provided to support specific renewable energy ventures, however the current 20% renewable energy target remains. Australia would withdraw support for the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

The Greens – 25-40% greenhouse reduction target by 2020. At 25% the target is unconditional. Price on carbon imposed through a ‘regulated market-based’ scheme. National energy efficiency targets to be established. Increase the Renewable Energy Target to 30% by 2020 and provide a national feed-in tariff scheme. Regulatory reform to support greater demand management and distributed generation. Abandon public funding for all carbon capture and storage research. Provide transitional plans for coal mining communities.

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