TENSIONS have erupted in the Coalition over a key climate change policy less than two weeks before the introduction of the carbon tax from July 1.
Tony Abbott was yesterday forced to stare down a backbench challenge to the party’s support for the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target as senior backbenchers blamed it for adding to electricity prices amid a backlash over last week’s 18 per cent price increases in NSW and South Australia.
Maher, S. 2012. Abbott forced to quell backbench climate rift. The Australian, 20 June, p.1.
The climate debate was getting very hot in early 2007 in Australia. Gore had come and gone, Stern was about, the drought went on, and Kevin Rudd was yapping… at everyone’s heels. So, the thorny question of what advice had the Howard government previously ignored about climate change was one that could not be answered straightforwardly without incurring some political damage (and there was an election pending…). It is in this context that the repeated refusal of Treasurer Peter Costello to give simple answers to an ABC reporter on the question of when Treasury Secretary Ken Henry had pushed for an emissions trading scheme (Costello knew full-well – he’d been part of the group that had tried to get it through in July-August 2003, only to be personally vetoed by Honest John Howard).
Also on this day-
Cox, G. 2001. Overheating Australia needs ‘wake-up call’. IOL 8 May.
Canberra – Pressure mounted on the Australian government on Tuesday to resume international climate change talks after a report by a government agency foreshadowed a dramatic surge in temperatures in the next 70 years.
Australia’s key government research organisation, the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), predicted a drier and hotter Australia, with average temperatures rising by up to six percent by 2070.
“Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases are the culprit,” head of CSIRO’s atmospheric research group Peter Whetton said in a statement.
2015 New and reduced Renewable Energy Target released: The RET is announced as 33,000 gigawatt hours, or 23.5%, of the estimated electricity generation for 2020.
On this day in 2011, an ‘anti-carbon tax’ rally was held outside Parliament House in Canberra. The crowd was addressed by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who was in the midst of his relentless (and successful) campaign to characterise an emissions-trading scheme with an initial fixed price as a ‘tax’ (with the help of Julia Gillard, it has to be said).
Infamously, and in a move that should have been far more damaging than it was (imo), Abbott was pictured in front of a placard that declared Gillard was ‘Bob Brown’s bitch’.
Labour minister Craig Emerson “wanted to vomit,” and he was not alone. Gillard told an ABC documentary that she felt this should have ended Abbott’s career.
Also on this day-
It happens to be World Meteorological Day . I should try to track down speeches by Australia’s first environment ambassador (Climate change and policy change : the nexus : World Meteorological Day address 1991 / by Sir Ninian Stephen) and the 1992 one by ex-science Minister Barry Jones.
2013 – The Australian Government’s formal response to recommendations outlined in the Final Review Report (on Renewable Energy) was released on 23 March 2013 (Simpson and Clifton, 2014:129)
On this day 10 years ago, a report appeared in the Canberra Times (see below) about the launch of a ‘clean coal’ discussion paper of the ALP. They were trying to square a circle – to capture voters concerned about climate change, but without appearing ‘anti-coal’…
It has been a very very long ten years. In that time CCS went up like a rocket and down like a stick. Combet became a Labor MP, helped design a doomed emissions trading scheme, was offered a shot at the Prime Ministership as the anyone-but-Kevin candidate (he declined) and then left parliament at the 2013 elections. Meanwhile, the emissions? They climbed. The atmospheric concentration if C02? It climbed. Chances of a habitable planet for the young and as-yet-unborn? Plummeted. So it goes.
Australia’s coal and power generation industries must shoulder a large part of the cost of developing clean coal technologies, investing ”billions not millions” to mitigate climate change, ACTU secretary Greg Combet says. ”We are talking about companies that make multibillion-dollar profits from coal mining. It is only fair that a slice of those profits be directed to the research and development needed to substantially reduce greenhouse emissions,” he said. Speaking from the Hunter Valley, where he was launching a clean coal discussion paper with Opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett, Mr Combet called for the Federal Government’s Minimum [sic] Renewable Energy Target for green electricity generation to be boosted.
Beeby, R. 2007. Put power profits into clean energy: Combet. Canberra Times, 13 March.