The climate change spokesman for Australia’s conservative Liberal-National opposition has said the coalition will never introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
“I don’t see it’s ever likely to happen,” Liberal frontbencher Greg Hunt said during an ABC TV discussion program, Q&A, last night.
He said the minority Labor government’s carbon price laws, aimed at addressing climate change, were, in fact, an “electricity tax and gas tax” and he denied they was reducing carbon emissions.
“I can guarantee you that China will not be imposing a nationwide electricity, energy and gas tax,” Mr Hunt said.
His statement completely ignored the fact that China has announced a progressive rollout of pilot ETS across a number of its major economic regions, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, which cover more than 100 million people.
Labor’s Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, appearing on the same TV program, said Liberal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had “described himself as a weather-vane on climate change and then said it was bull***.”
She said emissions had come down by 8.6 per cent since the Labor government last year introduced a price on carbon pollution.
Ms Plibersek said by the end of the year one billion people will be living in a country, city or state with an emissions trading scheme or carbon price.
Last week, United States President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union speech, told Congress to either introduce a market-based mechanism to tackle climate change, or he would take executive action on the matter.