“The Age” appalled by Tony Abbott’s repeal of the carbon tax

Repeal of carbon tax shames our nation

The Age July 21, 2014   Editorial

  The overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists concur: the emission of greenhouse gasses as a result of human activity is contributing to a rise in temperate and to the resulting climate change that poses nothing short of an existential threat. So this newspaper has consistently advocated for our governments to act decisively on behalf of future generations to combat global warming. Economists the world over agree the most effective way to reduce the danger is to put a price on carbon emissions. We are appalled, then, that the Coalition has repealed the carbon tax, which was a transitional step towards an emissions trading scheme the like of which is working in Europe and elsewhere.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott claims to accept the science, and indeed has a policy to cut emissions. It’s called Direct Action, but is better thought of as limp inaction, for it is essentially a scheme to plant tress and spend about $2.5 billion paying selected businesses to reduce pollution. Incidentally, that is significantly less than the cost of the tax Mr Abbott, a man who claims to be against new and/or higher taxes, wants to levy on business to pay for his excessively generous paid parental leave scheme. Direct Action is unlikely to go anywhere near reducing emissions to the bipartisan target of a minimum of 5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Australia, the nation with the highest level of emissions per capita, is now left in a lamentable limbo; not only has the price on carbon been removed, the first time a government has wound back action on climate change, yet even the Direct Action plan has been stymied by the Palmer United Party, led by a man with a massive and direct interest in coal mining.

The Coalition has regressed astonishingly; Mr Abbott’s political hero and mentor, former prime minister John Howard, took an emissions trading scheme to the 2007 election.

The Age applauds Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s statement that he and the ALP continue to support an emissions trading scheme……..: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/repeal-of-carbon-tax-shames-our-nation-20140720-3c954.html#ixzz38AgsQNpA

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