Date:  23 April 2015

Tony Abbott’s taxpayer funded slush fund will fail to meet Australia’s abatement challenge, despite it implementing a carbon price that is one of the highest in the world. 

The results of the first round of the Government’s polluters’ slush fund released today show that Australians bought $660 million of carbon pollution at a price about twice that of Labor’s proposed emissions trading scheme. This confirms that the fund will fall about 40 per cent short of its carbon abatement challenge. 

“This pollution is being bought by the taxpayer at one of the highest rates in the world,” Shadow Minister for Climate Change Mark Butler said. 

“It confirms how hopelessly inferior Tony Abbott’s policy is to Labor’s emissions trading scheme.” 

A number of troubling problems have been identified with the release of this material: 

1.    Tony Abbott’s carbon price is twice the price forecast by Treasury for Labor’s ETS in 2013.

2.    This is a $660 million bill being footed by the taxpayer rather than big polluters.

3.    Taxpayers won’t be getting value for money. Taxpayers will be handing money to a large number of existing projects to fund things that were happening already.

4.    Assuming all contracts deliver their projected abatement, this policy will deliver, at best, 200 million tonnes of abatement by the middle of next decade. That’s a fraction of what will be needed to achieve the Climate Change Authority’s recommended emissions reduction targets.

5.    Meanwhile, Australia’s biggest polluters remain completely free to increase their own pollution levels. We’ve already seen pollution from the electricity sector start to rise after Tony Abbott’s attack on the renewable energy industry. Without a legal cap on carbon pollution, that covers all of Australia’s big polluters, Tony Abbott is wasting scarce taxpayer dollars. 

“At a glance, the first auction underlines the overwhelming inadequacy of Tony Abbott’s climate policy,” Mr Butler said. 

“Labor’s policy is a legal cap on carbon pollution, a market mechanism that lets business work out the cheapest way to operate and is funded by polluters, not tax payers. 

“It’s shocking that the Government can be so bold as to claim this policy is a success when it will fall well short of its target.”



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