Where to start with Angus Taylor?
There was his very public opposition to wind farms ever since one was built next door to his family property near Cooma. He has been a strident critic of the renewable energy target, saying he had watched local communities “tear themselves to pieces, cousin against cousin, brother against brother for the massive subsidies to the wind industry facilitated by the federal government”.
There was his large donation of $155,000 to the Liberal Party before he was elected.
Then there is the whole Angus, his business partners, Cayman Islands, Barnaby Joyce, water buybacks thing (which may or may not be under investigation).
And the investigation into illegal land clearing against a company part-owned byTaylor’s family.
Taylor was part of the Abbott government who got rid of carbon pricing. They also tried to get rid of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) yet now boast, in their Climate Solutions Package, that
“ARENA has provided $1.347 billion in grant funding to 441 projects including large scale solar and pumped hydro. The CEFC has invested over $6.4 billion to more than 110 projects with a total value of more than $21 billion.”
Taylor was instrumental in sinking Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Clean Energy Target and then torpedoing the National Energy Guarantee.
As reward for his efforts in opposing any action on energy policy or emissions reduction, he has been made the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction…as you do.
And that has opened us up to a whole new world of bullshit.
Speaking on Sky, Taylor said “We’re going to meet our international obligations as we did our Kyoto 1 obligations in 2010, we’ll meet our Kyoto 2 obligations easily in 2020 and of course we will again for Paris in 2030. That’s what we’ve consistently done”.
For starters, our Kyoto 1 target was to limit emissions for the period 2008-2012 to 108% of 1990 levels, hardly something to be proud of when everyone else was promising reductions. What’s more, we insisted that we be allowed to claim reductions from land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). To demonstrate how significant that clause was, from 1990 to 2012 Australia’s emissions from all sources except LULUCF grew by 28%.
I should add at this point that LULUCF emissions are very hard to verify. If a farmer has approval to clear land and doesn’t do it, should this be counted as an emissions reduction? If a farmer promises to plant trees and then a drought happens, does anyone check that those trees are actually alive? What about the increasingly severe bushfires?
The Kyoto 2 target was to reduce emissions to 5% below 2000 levels.
The latest data, released late by the Minister (not surprisingly), shows that Australia’s emissions for the year to December 2018 were 0.4 per cent above emissions in 2000, having risen again as they have for the last three years.
Only in the Coalition world of Creative Accounting could this be viewed as “smashing our target”.
According to the Department, the increase was primarily due to increased emissions from LNG for export, diesel consumption across transport, and metal manufacturing.
Taylor claims that increased emissions due to LNG exports is actually a good thing as it reduces worldwide emissions citing a figure for equivalent energy from coal-fired power which he is assuming the gas is replacing.
Except one of our biggest LNG customers is Japan who is replacing nuclear power. And what if cheap gas causes countries to invest in gas infrastructure rather than renewable energy?
And if we are going to claim emissions reduction credit for our gas exports replacing coal, are we also going to fess up to the emissions caused by our coal exports?
Angus Taylor has demanded that Labor endorse the Coalition’s climate policy suggesting they have a mandate.
“Our national target is achievable, balanced and responsible. We will meet our international commitments while keeping power prices down, keeping the lights on, and keeping our economy strong,” Mr Taylor said.
Our target is woefully inadequate. We haven’t achieved any genuine emissions reduction. Power prices are still surging. My home was blacked out for two hours yesterday. And our economy is really struggling.
Angus, you talk crap.
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