The new laws to protect the health of the environment are worth $1.7 billion a day, the Commonwealth’s environment minister said on Wednesday, as he released the first draft of the country’s climate change action plan.
The $1bn figure is a reference to the estimated $4.4 billion in carbon emissions the country will emit by 2030.
But it is a small amount compared with the more than $100 billion the government has said it will save by not reducing the number of coal-fired power stations.
“I would say the draft plan is pretty ambitious, but it’s also pretty achievable,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said.
“We are committed to doing our fair share in meeting the targets that we set for 2030.”
What we’re proposing is a lot more than just a reduction in emissions.
It’s a commitment to reducing emissions.
“The first draft includes a plan to make Australia the first nation to cut emissions at the same time it emits the least amount of carbon pollution.
The minister said it was not just the coal industry that would be affected by the changes, but also industry with a significant carbon footprint.”
If you think about the greenhouse gas emissions that are currently coming from a lot of our energy-intensive industries, if you’re going to reduce that footprint to a smaller number, you’re not just reducing the emissions of the coal sector but of the other industries that are in that sector, like the mining sector,” Mr Hunt said in a press conference on Wednesday.”
It is an important element in reducing emissions and it’s an important part of achieving the targets we set.
“The draft also contains a commitment for the first time to consider a carbon price for electricity, a move Mr Hunt has previously said he would not support.”
In this draft, we are going to start with a price, a price that we think will actually have a long-term impact on reducing emissions,” Mr Hunts said.
The draft plan also includes measures to improve the monitoring of emissions and air quality, and a commitment by the Commonwealth to develop a climate resilience fund.
It also includes a commitment from the states and territories to work together to help reduce emissions.
The Government said the draft had been crafted with the support of all the states, territories and the Australian Energy Market Operator.”
The draft shows how we will work with our federal and state partners to achieve a stronger and more secure Australia,” Mr Clark said.
But critics say it is little more than a placeholder for the full-blown plan to be put to a parliamentary vote.”
When you’re talking about the first carbon-reduction plan in a generation, it’s a little bit of a hodgepodge of elements that are really quite difficult to digest,” Professor Malcolm Butler from the Australian National University’s climate centre said.