Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Rudd spells it out:
A CARBON POLLUTION REDUCTION SCHEME IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST
Australia has today moved a step closer to action on climate change, after the Rudd Government this morning delivered a deal to the Opposition aimed at securing the passage of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme this week.
The package is the culmination of over a month of detailed negotiations between the Government and the Opposition, and over a decade of policy development.
Under the package, industry will receive significant new assistance to help make the transition to a low carbon future, reflecting the Opposition’s demands.
The Government has also ensured the package delivers for the environment and households...
This final package on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is in the national interest: it is both environmentally credible and economically responsible.
Key elements of the package include:
• Emissions-Intensive Trade-Exposed Industries: permanently incorporating the Global Recession Buffer – which provides industries eligible for 60 per cent assistance with a 10 per cent buffer, and industries eligible for 90 per cent assistance with a 5 per cent buffer – into assistance rates. The 1.3 per cent Carbon Productivity Contribution has been retained to ensure all industries reduce their emissions.
• Coal Sector: A total of $1.5 billion in transitional assistance will be provided to the coal sector over five years. This is an increase from $750 million previously. The Government will commit $270 million to the Coal Mine Abatement Fund through the Climate Change Action Fund to assist gassy coal mines reduce emissions. In addition, the current COAG Renewable Energy Target (RET) review process will consider whether new waste coal mine gas projects should be eligible.
• Voluntary Action: The Government will ensure the CPRS takes into account voluntary action by households. Voluntary action by households will now allow Australia to go beyond our 2020 emissions reduction target. In addition, the CPRS will be amended to ensure that all existing and future purchases of GreenPower will be counted, and allow Australia to go beyond our 2020 national targets.
• Electricity Sector Adjustment Scheme: An increase of $4 billion in assistance under the ESAS, increasing the total value of permits under the ESAS from $3.3 billion to $7.3 billion. A further three new measures – a Low Emissions Transition Incentive, an Energy Security Assurance Mechanism and deferred payment arrangements - will be introduced to maintain energy security and drive the transition to a low pollution future.
• Electricity Prices: A Transitional Electricity Cost Assistance Program of $1.1 billion to assist medium and large manufacturing and mining businesses with CPRS-related increases in electricity prices in the early years of the Scheme.
• Agriculture: As previously announced by the Government, agricultural emissions will be excluded from the CPRS and offsets for agricultural emissions abatement will be included.
The deal will ensure that Australia can achieve its ambitious unconditional target of 5 per cent; conditional target of up to 15 per cent and top-end target of 25 per cent off 2000 levels by 2020 if a global 450 parts per million outcome is achieved.
The deal put to the Opposition is fiscally responsible. The Government’s commitment to ensure that around 90 per cent of low-income households receive assistance equivalent to 120 per cent or more of their cost of living increase has been maintained. Although the level of assistance has been modified to reflect the new carbon price estimated in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is a major economic and environmental reform that will take Australia to a low carbon future.
It will place a limit on the carbon pollution we produce and make those that produce carbon pollution pay for it.
In early 2008, the Government made clear that it intended to fulfil its election commitment by passing the CPRS in mid 2009.
The Government first released this legislation in draft form in March.
This package has been presented to the Opposition on the basis that a vote on the Bill must be held before Parliament rises this week – six months after the Government’s intended passage.
Passing the CPRS this week will give Australian businesses the certainty they need to make investments.
It will also mean Australia goes to Copenhagen with a means to deliver its targets and provide a much-needed boost to negotiations on a global deal.
We have delayed action on climate change too long.
It is now time to act.
We call on the Opposition to support this negotiated package and ensure a vote on this package before Parliament rises this week.
Details of Proposed CPRS Changes
. On CRPS D-Day
. Perhaps we should rename it the "Carbon Pollution Compensation Scheme"
. Bin the CPRS