Anyone who has followed the toxic climate change debate over the last decade must be questioning their sanity after the Coalition’s media blitz announcing their newfound interest, and apparent success (according to them), in reducing emissions.
Minister for down down prices are down, Angus Taylor, proudly boasted on The Project (kinda, cause I’m guessing he knows what a con this is) that emissions per capita are at their lowest level in 28 years. That is true. Not because emissions have come down but because the population has increased by over 2 million between September 2013 and now.
Scott Morrison exasperatedly said to Leigh Sales on 7:30 report that he can’t understand why people aren’t praising the Coalition for a “1.1 billion tonne carbon abatement turnaround”.
Perhaps because it didn’t happen?
Annual emissions for the year to September 2013 were estimated to be 542.1 Mt CO2 -e. The latest data (which is 8 months old) shows that emissions for the year to June 2018 were 547.0 Mt CO2-e. Anyone who can count would call that a significant increase in emissions.
Our first Kyoto target was to, by 2012, limit our increase in emissions to 8% above 1990 levels – hardly a worthy goal when the plan was to reduce emissions. Because we didn’t increase by quite as much as we were allowed, we are calling that a carryover reduction to claim towards the next Kyoto target which is to reduce emissions by 5% on 2000 levels.
Just as well because the figures from June 2018 show we are only 2.4% below 2000 emissions and not a hope in hell to meet our 2020 target without that creative accounting.
We have also had the Prime Minister tell us that “Labor’s target of 45 per cent will cost everybody’s wages $9000 a year.”
So where did that figure come from? Oh a story in The Australian. And where did their story come from? A two page non-peer reviewed analysis by Brian Fisher whose writing in support of the coal industry has been rubbished before for its inaccuracies and wild assumptions.
ProMo could, of course, have referred to modelling from Frontier Economics which said that power prices will go down by 2030 and that the extent of the decrease is very little different under an emissions reduction target of 26% or 45% – 20.8% for the former compared to 18.3% for the latter – but instead he has gone full throttle into ‘Whyalla wipeout $100 lamb roast’ territory saying Labor’s policy is “a carbon tax on steroids.” The only thing on steroids here is, once again, the hysterical rhetoric.
Another $2 billion over ten years will top up the Emissions Reduction Fund – oh sorry, the Climate Solutions Fund (nothing like a name change to make it seem like you are doing something) – which will be used to pay farmers to not clear land, or to plant some trees. Wonder how that will go with fires and floods and droughts now a regular occurrence.
The Clean Energy Regulator recently cancelled six contracts from the government’s emissions reduction fund because they did not deliver the necessary cuts to carbon emissions. The projects, worth a total of $24m, were cancelled at the end of October and should have delivered 2 million carbon credits.
The six contracts that were cancelled were all land-based projects that would have allowed the restoration or reforestation of land that had previously been cleared.
“To date, none of the projects associated with these contracts have generated abatement,” the regulator’s spokeswoman said. How many other such contracts have also failed to deliver what they promised?
The government’s own agencies admit that the emissions reductions claimed in the land use sector are estimates with a high level of uncertainty.
ProMo also announced some money towards an interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria to help with Victoria’s power supply. But hey, I thought renewables caused blackouts? I can see some Coalition politicians having real trouble embracing this 180 degree turnaround.
It was only October, when asked if Australia would be held to the target to reduce emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels, Morrison said: “No, we won’t … we’re not held to any of them at all. Nor are we bound to go and tip money into that big climate fund. We’re not going to do that either. I’m not going to spend money on global climate conferences and all that nonsense.”
What a difference an upcoming election makes – well to the words anyway.
If the lies that have been told on day one of the sales pitch are anything to go by, they are pinning their hopes on us just trusting them and on forgetting that infamous lump of coal so fondly caressed by the man who would have us believe he now gives a damn.
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