News National Don’t throw away climate action: Labor

Don’t throw away climate action: Labor

mark butler
Mark Butler says the government should prioritise renewables. Photo: Getty Photo: Getty
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The federal opposition plans to amend the Abbott government’s carbon tax repeal bills, saying it wants to ensure something serious is done about climate change.

Federal MPs will begin debating the legislation from about midday on Monday.

The government wants its bills to clear parliament’s lower house by Thursday afternoon so they can be considered by the Senate in early December.

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler says Labor will propose amendments that provide a legislated cap on carbon emissions and prevent renewable energy programs being abolished.

“What we won’t allow is for Tony Abbott to walk into the parliament and throw the baby out with the bathwater so that Australia ends up doing nothing serious on climate change,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Labor in government was preparing to have a market-based emissions trading scheme replace the carbon tax on July 1, 2014.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten would propose a “very sensible middle ground”, Mr Butler said.

Government frontbencher Christopher Pyne says the government will not accept Labor’s amendments, saying it was a very important week for Mr Shorten.

“He has the opportunity this week to vote through the abolition of the carbon tax, or he could again stand in the way of the will of the Australian people,” Mr Pyne told reporters.