Aussie Greens are Blocking the New Carbon Tax

Essay by Eric Worrall

A hilarious standoff has developed in Aussie politics, where greens are refusing to support a new carbon tax unless all the loopholes are closed.

Greens offer support for safeguard mechanism on condition it blocks new coal and gas

By political reporter Jake Evans

The Greens have offered the government their necessary support for its signature climate change legislation, with a single condition that new coal and gas projects are blocked from development.

Key points:

  • The Greens have offered support for the safeguard mechanism on the condition new coal and gas projects are banned
  • The party says it is prepared to forgo other changes, including to climate targets and carbon credit schemes
  • The government has previously opposed a moratorium on new coal and gas

The government will introduce its “safeguard mechanism” bill to the parliament this week, which would require the nation’s top polluting facilities to reduce their emissions by 4.9 per cent each year to 2030, or face penalties.

The mechanism is the core of the government’s plan to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by the decade’s end.

The Greens say that is a weak target, and hold concerns that the safeguard mechanism would allow facilities to buy offsets to cover their obligations instead of cutting emissions.

But Greens leader Adam Bandt says the party is willing to put aside those concerns if the government will accept a single amendment to block new coal and gas projects.

“We’re prepared to live with those and give Labor’s scheme a go if Labor is prepared to stop opening coal and gas mines,” Mr Bandt said.

“The Coalition has said no, that they’re not interested, that means the government needs the Greens to get this through parliament.

Read more:

If you think we’ve suffered our share of disappointments, for the greens it has been absolute hell. No matter what coalitions they’ve entered, no matter what deals they thought they’ve won, they always get led down. New coal and gas mines are still opening after decades of effort, and people are still using fossil fuel.

In my opinion the new government carbon tax legislation is no different. Economically damaging for sure, but Labor has a significant mining union constituency, so they appear to have left big loopholes in their carbon tax for their comrades in the coal and gas mines to continue enjoying their well paid jobs.

The new carbon tax is supported by the major Aussie firms which dominate the Aussie Chamber of Commerce. If the carbon tax is passed, small players could be wiped out or forced to amalgamate at rock bottom prices with big players, because they can’t cope with the increased bureaucracy. But surely this isn’t the reason the Aussie Chamber of Commerce is cheering on the new tax?

The big question is, which way will greens jump? Will they let themselves be suckered, like all the previous times they compromised, only to watch their priorities ruthlessly discarded in bad faith when green votes were no longer useful? Or will they risk being blamed for the failure to pass a carbon tax, and stand by their inconvenient insistence that Aussie climate legislation lead to genuine CO2 emissions reductions, no matter what the consequences?

Popcorn all round.

via Watts Up With That?

February 15, 2023 at 04:16PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s