Labor is pushing the Abbott government to reveal more details about its climate change strategy, claiming Direct Action will fail to deliver Australia’s promised cuts to carbon emissions.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has demanded the opposition stand aside and let the carbon tax repeal legislation pass through the Senate. But Labor is remaining tight lipped about its intentions.
Instead it’s trying to thrust the spotlight on the coalition’s Direct Action policy and its ability to meet the bipartisan target of slashing emissions by five per cent by 2020.
Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler said the “glaring deficiency” of Direct Action was that it removed the absolute cap on Australia’s carbon pollution promised under Labor’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).
He said by walking away from that firm limit, Mr Abbott was putting the five per cent target in jeopardy.
“He’d relegate that to a mere aspiration, rather than a firm legal limit on carbon pollution,” Mr Butler told Sky News on Sunday.
He said Labor hadn’t made a decision on the repeal laws but stood by its view that an ETS and a firm limit on emissions was more likely to achieve the target than the government’s “carbon slush fund”.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said both sides of politics agreed the carbon tax needed to go but Labor believed it was economically sensible to have a market-based mechanism for combating climate change.
He said more details were needed about how Direct Action would work to ensure Australia met its unconditional commitments to reduce pollution.
“There’s not a scientist or an economist I have seen who believes Direct Action could achieve the carbon reduction emissions targets,” he told Network Ten on Sunday.