News Politics Australian Politics Labor settles on 43 per cent emission cut by 2030
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Labor settles on 43 per cent emission cut by 2030

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Anthony Albanese has unveiled Labor's climate action plan ahead of next year's federal election.
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Federal Labor has pledged to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 if it wins power at next year’s federal election.

The long-awaited target announced on Friday is weaker than the 45 per cent cut the opposition took to the 2019 poll and what the Business Council of Australia has called for.

Labor has agreed to gradually strengthen obligations on polluters through a tightening of the government’s existing safeguard mechanism.

This was something called for by the Business Council and was labelled by the coalition as a carbon tax by stealth.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Labor’s plan would create 604,000 jobs, five out of six of them in the regions.

It was also expected to cut household power bills by $275 a year by 2025.

“What we have done here and we are announcing today is good policy consistent with net zero [emissions] by 2050,” he said in Canberra on Friday.

“What we didn’t do was adopt a target and then work back.

“This plan will ensure that no business and no worker is left behind. It ensures that Australia can take our place, which we should, as a renewable energy superpower for the world.”

Mr Albanese said Labor’s plan came with the “most comprehensive modelling” ever undertaken by an opposition.

“Australian business is leading. It’s time that the Australian government caught up,” he said.

“That’s why our plan to create jobs, cut power bills, boost renewables and reduce emissions is the right plan for Australia.”

Speaking ahead of the Labor policy launch, Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed it would force up electricity prices and put people out of jobs.

“I don’t agree that is the right policy for Australia. I don’t think that policy keeps the balance right,” he said from Cooma in NSW.

The Coalition government has a 2030 target of a 26-to-28 per cent emissions cut on 2005 levels.

The government is projecting a cut of between 30 and 35 per cent, but refuses to commit to that.

Mr Morrison also said he expected Labor would ultimately chase a higher target.

“This is the starting bid from Labor. It’s not the final outcome,” he said.

“If they have to get into that option with the Greens to form government, it won’t be 43, that will be the opening bid and it’s going to end a lot higher than that.”

Green leader Adam Bandt panned the ALP target, accusing the  opposition of giving up on climate change.

“These targets take us past the point of no return. The Liberals are taking us over the cliff at 200km/h while Labor’s promising to do it at 180km/h,” he said.

Polling from progressive think tank the Australia Institute shows about a quarter of 1010 people surveyed saw climate change as the most important political issue, roughly on par with the economy.

Climate change was the most important issue for 30 per cent of Labor voters, while 37 per cent of Coalition voters saw the economy as paramount.

In October, the Business Council backed an emissions cut of between 46 and 50 per cent by 2030.

-with AAP