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Multi-pronged attack plan from Labor to reduce carbon emissions in climate policy | The Maitland Mercury

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It is well known I have not always agreed with my Labor Party colleagues. Climate change policy has been a regular driver of that disagreement. With the release of Labor’s latest climate change policy, that is no longer the case. Public policy development is often made difficult by a range of competing challenges. This has been particularly true of the challenge of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Geography is part of the problem. What the majority living in the inner suburbs of our capital cities want is often quite different to the hopes and aspirations of those of us who live in the regions. Members of Parliament have a responsibility to put their electorates first, that’s what representative democracy is all about. Regional MPs must fight for their regional economies and communities and that’s what I’ve always done. I make no apology for doing so, even when it has put me at odds with my colleagues. Labor’s new climate change policy is the product of two and a half years of internal Party research and debate. It acknowledges climate change hurts regional and city residents alike and we need to join with the rest of the world in addressing it. But the policy response must be one which reduces emissions without increasing electricity prices or destroying jobs. Independent expert advice confirms Labor’s policy will deliver the trifecta: less emissions, lower electricity prices and more jobs, not less jobs. In the Hunter no jobs will be lost in any industries including the coal mining, power generation and aluminum manufacturing sectors. However new, additional jobs will be developed in a range of new industries. It’s a win-win. Is this a magic pudding? No. Labor’s new plan to reduce emissions is technology focused and multi-pronged. A range of policy initiatives will together, make a big difference. Lower taxes on electric cars, big reductions in the emissions of the public service, community battery banks, and transmission grid upgrades to allow greater growth in renewable energy, to name just a few. Labor’s policy will also help company boards which have committed their firms to net zero emissions by 2050 achieve their ambitions. We’ll do so by enhancing the Abbott Government’s system of capping the emissions of the country’s biggest emitters by requiring they buy carbon credits for emissions above the cap. This system hasn’t kept pace with the commitments of the companies themselves and the proposed changes will make it easier for them to find carbon abatement opportunities. To understand this better you need only remember that you can reduce carbon in the atmosphere by putting less into it, or by taking more out. Labor’s independent expert modelers have concluded the suite of policies will allow Australia to reduce its emissions by 43 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. This is not extraordinary given the Morrison Government’s economic modellers advise that without Labor’s initiatives we’ll hit 35 percent below 2005 levels. The NSW Government’s commitment to a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 also tells us that 43 percent is unremarkable. The new policy will be a good thing for the Hunter region. No coal miner or any other worker will be adversely affected by it. That’s why I’ve been willing to support it.

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OPINION

December 6 2021 – 4:06PM

Read More: Multi-pronged attack plan from Labor to reduce carbon emissions in climate policy | The Maitland Mercury

2021-12-05 23:06:00

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