Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Labor party already feeling heat over its emissions-reduction strategy

To meet the climate change promise that Labor took to the federal election, the Albanese government must boost renewable energy to 82 per cent of supply by 2030, put a carbon-trading scheme on big business and spend billions on infrastructure and new technologies.

But before the final numbers are even counted, the ALP is under pressure to do more.

The Greens have demanded tougher action to win their support in the Senate, and conservation and investor groups have been quick to insist that Labor lifts its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.

Labor’s policy for the election would cost $75bn by 2030, equal to 3 per cent of GDP. Billions of dollars will be spent upgrading electricity networks, electric vehicles will be given special tax ­advantages, and a new $15bn ­National Reconstruction Fund will provide finance and investment for renewables and other low-emissions technologies.

The centrepiece of Labor’s plan is a revised safeguards mechanism which would become a cap-and-trade carbon market for the nation’s biggest emissions industries. A new body would decide which major companies were forced to cut their emissions, with the total amount of emissions ­allowed across the economy to be reduced each year.

Offsetting emissions is expected to spawn a range of new industries in the agriculture and land care sectors.

Modelling for Labor before the election estimated its climate change policies would result in lower electricity prices for consumers and thousands of new jobs. But it did not calculate the inflationary impact of forcing businesses outside of the electricity sector to act.

Labor’s plan was more ambitious than the Coalition policy of cuts of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 but below the demands of the teal independents for a 60 per cent cut and the Greens demand of net zero by 2035.

Mr Albanese has said his government would legislate the new target. But to get the changes through parliament it must win support in the Senate from either the Greens or Coalition senators.

“Labor’s goal to have 82 per cent of our electricity generated by renewables by 2030 is a step in the right direction, but the new government must reconsider its position on new coal and gas projects”, Ms O’Shanassy added.

The Investor Group on Climate Change said the election outcome offered an opportunity to reset and align Australia’s economic policies with climate goals.

The group said stronger Paris-aligned 2030 targets were needed to unlock $131bn in investment in clean industries and new jobs across the economy by the end of the decade.

Mr Albanese has made climate change a defining policy for his government. He has pledged to raise it with the leaders of the US, Japan and India at the Quad meeting in Tokyo this week.

To signal its new approach, Labor will seek to host a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year’s meeting will be held in Egypt where a decision will be made on the venue for 2023.

Labor’s commitment to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 is broadly in line with the pledges of other major countries.

To meet the target, emissions will need to fall to 351 million metric tonnes, or “Mt”, in 2030 in Paris budget accounting terms.

The ALP policy is projected to set Australia on a net-zero pathway by 2030, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

For this to happen, renewable energy penetration will need to grow to 82 per cent by 2030 compared to 68 per cent under business as usual.

The worst thing for the Liberal and National parties going forward would be to engage in another round of climate…
The Labor government has signalled $24bn in public investment to be matched by $51bn in private sector investment. During the election campaign, Labor said annual average electricity bills were projected to be $275 lower by 2025 and $378 lower by 2030.

The safeguards mechanism carbon trading scheme will be applied to facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year across a range of sectors, including mining, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, transport, and waste.

Labor modelled its policy on recommendations by the Business Council of Australia for emission baselines to be reduced gradually over time. Peak business groups have argued this would be in line with commitments already made by corporations to be carbon neutral by 2050. Businesses will be able to offset their emissions through internal abatement or external offsets from Australia’s carbon farming sector.

Industry will be given flexibility to discover low-cost abatement opportunities and invest in long-term emissions reduction technologies.

According to modelling published by the ALP, emissions covered by the safeguard mechanism have grown 7 per cent since its commencement in July 2016, rising to 140 Mt of CO2e in 2020-21 to be 17 per cent above 2005 levels, or just over one-quarter (28 per cent) of national emissions.

Without action, big companies were projected to overtake the electricity sector as Australia’s largest emitting policy segment in the early 2020s.

Labor said improvements to the Safeguard Mechanism were projected to deliver 213 Mt of GHG emissions reductions by 2030.

It said investment in industry abatement was estimated to create 1600 jobs by 2030, with five out of six of these jobs to be created in regional areas.


Incoming Indigenous Labor MP calls Greens a bigger threat to a Voice to parliament than Coalition

The incoming Indigenous MP for Australia’s red centre says the Greens are a bigger threat to the voice to parliament than the ­Coalition, as the left-wing party pushes a treaty between the government and Aboriginal people before any ­national Indigenous body.

Greens leader Adam Bandt on Monday dug in on the party’s ­official position that a $250m truth commission and a treaty process were higher priorities than Labor’s promised referendum on an Indigenous voice.

Tiwi woman Marion Scrymgour, Labor’s likely victor in the knife-edge count for the seat of Lingiari, said she believed the greatest threat to constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians did not come from the right but from the hard left.

“I’m not so much worried about the Liberals; it’s more the Greens,” she said. “While they say they are friends of Indigenous people, they’re not really because they just want to run their outrageous agendas all the time.”

The Greens were the first party to fully endorse the Uluru statement and its call for a voice in 2017 but they changed their policy after Uluru detractor Lidia Thorpe joined their ranks as a senator in 2020. Senator Thorpe was among activists at the time of the summit who walked out over the voice proposal, arguing a treaty should be top priority.

While Mr Bandt has previously said the Greens would not block a referendum, he has confirmed the party wants progress on a truth commission and a treaty in this term of parliament. “They are important things that we think we can get done during this parliament,” he said.

Incoming Alice Springs Country Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said the Greens were hopelessly out of touch with ­Indigenous issues in regional Australia.

“The extremism, the radicalism of the Greens, it’s very concerning,” she said. “The Greens might want to look back with truth hearings but there are things happening right now that are far more urgent like the safety of women and children in regional communities.”

Incoming Indigenous Australians minister Linda Burney said on Monday that the new government supported a treaty but it would take time. “Treaties are complex. We need to look at the states and ­territories that already have ­treaty processes under way and look at the structures in place, the architecture,” she said. Competing priorities in Indigenous ­affairs in the new parliament have emerged as a record number of Indigenous Australians prepare to become MPs.

Counting from Saturday’s election continued on Monday but Australians have voted nine and possibly 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into federal parliament.

Ms Nampijinpa Price described the new Albanese government’s proposed referendum on the Indigenous voice as “a distraction” from the pressing issues ­facing Aboriginal people in ­remote communities.

The outspoken Warlpiri-Celtic woman said she would lobby Labor to keep the cashless debit card – a measure she sees as “a protective blanket for marginalised people” – and to block the reintroduction of alcohol into Northern Territory homelands.

Ms Nampijinpa Price said she hoped that Labor’s Indigenous MP in the NT, Malindirri McCarthy, and Ms Scrymgour – if she was elected – could work together on the issues affecting Indigenous women and children in the Territory, such as domestic violence.

Existing Indigenous senators include Pat Dodson from Labor, and independent Jacqui Lambie from Tasmania. The Greens’ two Indigenous senators – Ms Thorpe and Dorinda Cox – were also returned.

Ms Burney did not comment ­directly on the Greens’ urgent ­demand for progress towards truth-telling and treaty. However, she confirmed the truth-telling process that she planned would involve local governments and would not take the form of court-style hearings.

Ms Burney’s priority was to consult all Australians about the Indigenous voice, its role and the question they would be asked in the referendum. She said it was important ­people knew the Uluru statement called for an advisory body to the parliament on issues directly ­affecting Indigenous ­people.

“People need to be clear what they are voting for and need to be clear on the role of the voice,” Ms Burney said. “Uluru was absolutely clear … the voice is modest, it is generous and it does not have veto rights that would usurp parliament.”


Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn, who posted anti-abortion comments, expelled from party

The Victorian Liberals have voted to expel controversial MP Bernie Finn from the party.

The upper house MP has been a Liberal politician for nearly four decades, but has caused outrage within the party after a series of inflammatory social media posts.

Victorian Liberal Party leader Matthew Guy said the vote was not about the party "naval gazing from the federal election" but "being a sensible alternative government".

"It is disappointing that it has come to this, but I expect discipline from all members of the parliamentary party and I expect people to uphold respectful discourse," he said.

Speaking outside Victoria's Parliament House after the motion, Mr Finn said he originally joined the Liberal Party because "it was the party of freedom".

"What we have seen today is a statement from the leader of our party that the party I joined over 41 years ago is dead," he said. "The party of Menzies and Howard is no more — not in Victoria. "I will continue to fight, not just in this parliament, but in the next parliament as well."

Earlier this month, Mr Finn posted on Facebook that he was "praying" for abortion to be banned in Victoria, including for rape victims.

"So excited the US is on the verge of a major breakthrough to civilisation. Praying it will come here soon. Killing babies is criminal," he posted.

Mr Finn was referring to a leaked draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court that indicated the Roe v Wade decision, which makes abortion a constitutional right, could be overturned.

In response to a comment saying abortion should be available for those who have experienced sexual assault, Mr Finn commented that "babies should not be killed for the crime of his or her parent".

The comments caused fury within the Victorian Liberals, and Mr Finn resigned as party whip following the posts.


Voluntary assisted dying legalised in NSW

Terminally ill people in NSW will now be able to choose the timing of their death after a historic vote in state parliament legalised voluntary assisted dying.

Five years after it was first debated in parliament, NSW on Thursday became the final state in Australia to introduce assisted dying laws.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich introduced the bill to parliament late last year, with Coalition and Labor MPs granted a free vote.

Greenwich told parliament that the “entire diversity” of the parliament were involved in passing the bill, with 28 co-sponsors from across all parties - the highest number of any bill in Australian parliamentary history.

However, an opponent of the bill, Finance Minister Damien Tudehope, told the upper house that it was a “dark day” for NSW as it joined the rest of the country in accepting assisted dying laws. “It was a sad day because it was an opportunity for NSW to say ‘we can be better than this’,” Tudehope said.

Tudehope said the decision of the NSW parliament would be judged by history as a “dreadful mistake”.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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