Media Releases


April 27, 2016


A Shorten Labor Government will deliver real action on climate change to secure Australia’s economic prosperity, cut pollution, increase investment and grow Australian jobs.
The consequences of refusing to take meaningful action on climate change will be devastating for Australia and our economy.
Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan will centre on modernising and diversifying our energy markets, to generate continuity of supply through cleaner, more energy efficient sources.  It will deliver 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
Our plan is underpinned by a pollution reduction target of net zero pollution by 2050.
We will put a cap on pollution and create new opportunities for Australian firms to trade and engage with other ETS jurisdictions – already 40 per cent of the world’s economy.
Labor’s plan for an Emissions Trading Scheme with access to international carbon offsets does not and will not include a carbon tax or a fixed price on pollution.
An ETS caps the level of pollution and allows business to work out the cheapest and most effective way to operate without handing over billions of dollars to Australia’s large polluters.
By 2030, there will be $2.5 trillion of investment in renewable energy in the Asia-Pacific alone. 
Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan will allow Australia to seize these opportunities for new jobs, new industries and greater investment.
While senior Ministers in the Liberal Government are still disputing whether the ‘science is settled’ on climate change, Labor knows it is. 
We do not consider climate change a question of ‘belief’, we know it is an economic and environmental reality.
Australian manufacturers, farmers, universities, tourism businesses and communities can all share in the opportunities of climate change action.
The cost of inaction, to our economy and the environment, will be profound. This is not a price Labor is prepared to make the next generation of Australians pay.
In December, 195 nations of the world agreed to take serious action to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius on pre-industrial levels, including Australia. This commitment will not be reached under the Turnbull Liberals but it would be achieved under a Shorten Labor Government.
There are six key elements of Labor’s plan:
1.         Make Australia a Leading Renewable Energy Economy by ensuring that 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity is sourced from renewable energy by 2030, providing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation with more certainty and more flexibility in their investment mandate, and developing new community power projects.
2.         Cleaner Power Generation ensuring that the modernisation underway in Australia’s electricity generation from old heavy polluting coal fired power stations to modern clean energy is carefully-managed, with meaningful support for workers and communities.
3.         Build Jobs and Industry maximising the job opportunities from clean energy and clean technology, while also securing the future of critical Australian industries through a Strategic Industries Task Force.  This will be supported by a Strategic Industries Reserve Fund of $300m to support the transition of key industries to 2020.
4.         Cut Pollution through an Emissions Trading Scheme, placing a legal cap on the emissions of large polluters through a cap and offsets scheme, while supporting industry by ensuring access to international carbon offsets.  When China’s national scheme comes online, one in every three people in the world will live under an ETS. By 2030, emissions trading will be the biggest market in the world. Rejecting an ETS means isolation from the global marketplace.
5.         Capture Carbon on the Land by reinvigorating the Carbon Farming Initiative to encourage carbon storage on the land and in agriculture, and taking decisive action to deal with broad scale land clearing.
6.         Increased Energy Efficiency by doubling Australia’s national energy productivity by 2030 and implementing new emissions standards for motor vehicles to cut pollution on our roads.
Without real action on climate change, Australia will experience more extreme weather events and face heightened instability in our region.
An increase in drought frequency alone will cost our economy $7.3 billion a year – shrinking growth in our economy by a full percentage point of GDP.
Just a 1.1 metre rise in the sea level, would cause $226 billion in damage to coastal property and infrastructure – that’s 250,000 homes, 1,800 bridges, 120 seaports, Sydney and Brisbane Airports.
The CSIRO has said that the current warming of over one degree Celsius is already costing the nation. We are seeing significant challenges to the Great Barrier Reef hurting tourism, threatening $5.7 billion in tourism dollars and 65,000 jobs in regional towns.
Labor’s plan will provide the ambitious pathway for an orderly transition to a low pollution economy that Australia needs.
Malcolm Turnbull and his Government are still wedded to Tony Abbott’s widely-ridiculed Direct Action policy, which wastes taxpayer’ money paying big  polluters to keep polluting. .
The Liberals are spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money and all they are getting is more pollution.
This is the wasteful, inefficient policy Malcolm Turnbull once called:
“ a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”
“an environmental fig leaf to hide a determination to do nothing”