Carbon emissions: Australia’s energy minister dismisses call for tougher limits on polluters

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is engaged on securing help from the Liberal Social gathering’s rural associate, the Nationals, to again a goal of web zero by 2050 and probably a extra bold goal for 2030 than Australia’s present pledge to chop emissions by 26-28% from 2005 ranges, forward of the UN local weather convention in Glasgow.

But, the Enterprise Council of Australia — which represents the nation’s largest firms together with miners, fuel and energy producers — mentioned over the weekend that emissions reductions of as much as 50% under 2005 ranges by 2030 could possibly be achieved with large advantages for the financial system.

Addressing an vitality and local weather convention on Monday, Power Minister Angus Taylor swiftly shot down the council’s advice that the federal government strengthen its “Safeguard Mechanism” by requiring companies that emit greater than 25 million tonnes a yr to purchase carbon offsets, in contrast with the present threshold of 100 million tonnes a yr.

Analysis: Australia's climate policy is being dictated by a former accountant in a cowboy hat

The Safeguard Mechanism and the carbon offset market units Australia’s carbon worth, which final week rocketed to a file excessive, however was nonetheless lower than one-third the carbon worth within the European Union, which has a lot stricter emission limits.

“A considerable tightening of the Safeguard Mechanism is a backdoor carbon tax customers will finally should pay for, and that is not acceptable,” Taylor mentioned at convention organized by the Australian Monetary Evaluate.

Australia is the world’s fourth largest vitality exporter, and Taylor mentioned the federal government’s foremost aim was to guard key industries, together with fuel, coal, heavy manufacturing and agriculture, whereas additionally selling hydrogen, carbon seize and storage and soil carbon to chop emissions.

The federal government would stick with offering incentives to chop emissions reasonably than punishing polluters, he mentioned.

“Which means avoiding express carbon taxes or backdoor pathways to a carbon tax — sneaky carbon taxes.”

Taylor’s speech got here the identical day that Australian billionaire Twiggy Forrest, an outspoken critic of the federal government’s vitality insurance policies, introduced he would construct the world’s largest electrolyzer manufacturing facility in Australia to additional his ambition to provide inexperienced hydrogen. | Carbon emissions: Australia’s vitality minister dismisses name for harder limits on polluters

Aila Slisco

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