Brown coal's share of the main national electricity grid has surged to its highest level since September 2012, increasing the sector's greenhouse gas emissions.
Along with the pick-up in coal, carbon emissions from the NEM, which supplies about 80 per cent of Australian consumers, are on the increase since the scrapping by the Abbott government of the carbon tax.
At the centre of the Julia Gillard government’s policy on climate change was pricing carbon or “carbon tax”. The idea behind carbon tax is that polluters will pay per tonne of carbon they release into the atmosphere. This cost would have increased gradually until 2015, when we would have shifted to a trading scheme that will let the market set the cost. This was widely thought of as the most effective and least costly mechanism to reduce carbon output and reduce the level of climate change that is occurring. This also left reducing Australia’s carbon footprint in the hands of big business and was market driven. The Abbott government by dropping the carbon tax has not found any viable alternative and is relying heavily on his “Direct Action” plan – a plan that Involves paying companies to increase their energy efficiency. This plan described by many as ineffective and expensive.
So far the Abbott government has relied partly on the shrinking demand for electricity meet its target for cutting 2000-level greenhouse gas emissions 5 per cent by 2020.
The latest data shows this is not going to be easy.
There is a huge price to pay, including significant risks to the Australian economy if we do not take steps towards pricing carbon and make a concerted effort to fight climate change.
Paying business to reduce emissions is not an incentive at all. Big business needs to be held accountable and not rewarded for high carbon emissions.
By signing this petition you can help bring a real and viable solution to Australia cutting it’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Demand Tony Abbott bring back the Carbon Tax – the most effective and least costly mechanism to reduce carbon output and reduce the level of climate change that is occurring.