JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Doubt over emissions reduction fund

Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The opposition says the government is preparing to slash its flagship Direct Action climate policy, the emissions reduction fund, after Tuesday’s budget showed proposed spending on the scheme would be $1.4 billion less than expected in the first four years.

But Environment Minister Greg Hunt says there has been no change to the policy and the budget still allows the government to issue contracts for the promised $2.55 billion from July 1.

Doubt over the government’s plans for its replacement for Labor’s carbon tax emerged after Tuesday’s budget papers showed $1.1 billion in projected spending on the fund, which will pay polluters to reduce their emissions, in its first four years.

The government said the figure was not a cut because the bulk of the $2.5 billion would be budgeted for in years beyond the forward estimates as polluters completed long-term projects.

But Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler said businesses could rely only on the spending outlined in the budget papers and ''the budget papers show this policy has been slashed by more than half''.

''While it barely seemed possible, last night saw Tony Abbott backslide even further on Australia’s fight against climate change,'' Mr Butler said.

''This fig leaf of a climate policy now lies in tatters.''

Proposed expenditure sets out $75.5 million for the fund in 2014-15, $300 million in 2015-16 and $354.5 million in 2016-17.

Mr Hunt has previously said the forward estimates would give initial allocations of $300 million, $500 million and $750 million in the first three years of the fund.

He said on Wednesday the budget papers simply set out the likely cash flow to business for four years and there was ''flexibility'' to move funds if more money was required.

''Let me repeat this: the policy as it was set out in 2010 established $2.55 billion to be made available for contracts in the first four years. That has been delivered,'' Mr Hunt said.

Follow us on Twitter

31 comments

  • Good. The less money wasted on this tripe the better. Just like the Carbon Tax, Direct Action will do nothing to effect a climate that hasn't warmed in 15 years anyway.

    Commenter
    Pragmatic prince
    Date and time
    May 15, 2014, 7:54AM
    • Hi Prince, maybe you should start writing letters to CSIRO and NASA, they have clearly got it all wrong on climate change. If you share your insights maybe they will change their views on global warming.

      Commenter
      bryan currie
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 8:59AM
    • @Prince Planet, who writes: "Good. The less money wasted on this tripe the better." I agree that Direct Action is a waste of taxpayer funds.

      As I explain in my submission to the Senate Enquiry into the Direct Action Plan, ", a “carbon price” imposed through a revenue-neutral consumption tax on fossil fuel provides the necessary price signal to guide and inform emission-reducing activities with minimal regulatory intervention, minimal administrative effort, yet achieve maximum emission reduction with optimal economic efficiency".

      Prince Planet goes on to compare Direct Action with ALP's "Carbon Tax" (really a dog's breakfast of ill-considered measures, driven by KRudd's need to do Exactly The Same as the rest of the world), rather than consider what might be the optimal technique to achieve the goal of eliminating all fossil fuel use out of the economy through using price to find optimal technological substitutes.

      BTW, if the Prince thinks the world's stopped collecting more and more heat, he's sadly mistaken; he just needs to reflect upon what's caused West Antarctic ice-sheets to irreversibly start to drain to the ocean.

      Commenter
      David Arthur
      Location
      Queensland
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:02AM
    • Taxpayers should not pay taxes to be given to companies to reduce pollution outputs, there are no tax raising powers to allow this. Companies likewise cant be taxed to pay voters costs to reduce pollution and why wont they so as to make this tax fair. Yes they will all rort it and fit energy globes and claim a big reduction concession. If they pollute then they pay, we should not pay for polluters whom make money out of polluting. It will just encourage pollution. We need to fund a policing entity like the EPA to visit all likely sites trained to evaluate pollution and filtration/recycle methods, and enforce they adopt those measures within a reasonable timeframe or be shut down. They can wear their burden by raising product prices. thus no administration costs

      Commenter
      Brian Woods
      Location
      Glenroy
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:03AM
    • The laws of nature don't accept ignorance as an excuse anymore than the the laws of our nation, especially wilful ignorance such as your comment displays by stating there has been no warming for 15 years.
      All nations, most especially developed, industrialised nations, such as ours, must drastically reduce carbon emissions to amerliorate as far as possible the effects of greenhouse gasses on our climate, and the science is unequivocally clear on this. Saying it isn't so is lovely, as wishful thinking, and I'm sure less cognitively taxing, however it doesn't change reality.
      It takes a deal of fear combined with a mindset of helplessness to deny the science of climate change. Be brave, we can make a difference together.

      Commenter
      Warwick
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:19AM
    • Sir Phony Abbott and Co are clueless wreckers - anti-intellectual and grasping

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:31AM
    • brian, why would an industry so dependant on taxpayer money listen to anyone? Maybe you can point to one warmist prediction that has eventuated? maybe you could explain why there has been no warming for at least 15 years and this has been acknowledged by the IPCC? Why has it stopped when our carbon emissions have grown exponentially? Finally, if there is a problem, do you think that Australia doing it alone will have any effect?

      All pretty simple questions that those who support the warmist religion refuse to answer.

      Commenter
      Pragmatic prince
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Hi Prince, I read an article in this newspaper only yesterday about the melting of the West Antarctic ice shelf. Sea ice (one metre thick) maybe expanding but collapse of shelf ice (one kilometre thick) is probably going to be a problem. CSIRO and NASA seriously need some of your insights.

      Commenter
      Bryan Currie
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:51AM
    • Prince
      It is not our job to provide evidence to those too lazy to get off their backside. All the information you need is available on the web. If you have no scientific training, then you should trust the real scientists even though you are ideologically opposed.

      Commenter
      bg2
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 9:58AM
    • PP, you're insights are remarkable... you must have ignored Wikipedia.. but Greg Hunt didn't he uses it to inform his opinion of climate change.

      Of course the most dramatic part of the ignorance displayed about climate change is the opportunity it presents to us economically - but I guess vision has never been the forte of the LNP. Warren Buffett reckons that sustainable energy will be the greatest business driver of the 21st century and he has put his money where his mouth is and is now the majority owner of most sustainable energy in the USA - he is well known for his canny investments. China has invested over $60 billion in sustainable energy and in years to come because of some ignoring the opportunity will be selling this back to us - we have lost an opportunity.

      In Australia the carbon tax, which has had negligible impact on most people has also led to over 20,000 jobs and growing, intellectual property (anathema I know to some) and an advantage in this area. It was an Australian who perfected molten salt technology (base load solar) - an opportunity pitched to Howard who was not interested now being developed and invested in by big players in the USA. The worls leader in current and tidal power - Atlantis Resources - was an Australian developed company, now listed on the secondary market in London and many contracts and much development ahead.

      So the deniers are not only ignoring Wiki... but also the best economic opportunity of the 21st century......

      Commenter
      n720ute
      Location
      North Coast NSW
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 10:40AM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo