After lengthy negotiations on the Federal Government’s safeguard mechanism to reduce carbon emissions, a Labor-Greens deal has been finalised.
The mechanism is a framework to reduce carbon emissions caused by Australia’s top 215 polluters, including coal mines and gas plants, in a five-year rolling limit.
Prime Minister Albanese said nearly a decade has been wasted finalising the decision on the Labor-Greens deal.
In a tweet he announced that the safeguard mechanism is a step closer to Parliament.
“It will help us reach our goal of reducing emissions by 43 percent by 2020.”
Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Greens leader Adam Bandt are set to impose hard caps on the emissions, due to begin on July 1. This is part of an amendment negotiation to the deal with Labor.
Through this process, Bandt said the Greens has managed to stop 116 coal and gas projects.
“To everyone who is despairing about the future and wants real climate action, today you should have a spring in your step,” he said.
Analysis by the Australian Conservation Foundation shows that the safeguard mechanism has not been successful in the past. Since it was commenced, the old scheme under Labor has not been able to reduce carbon emissions, but instead the big emitters were still on the rise.
“Coal and gas pollution was set to soar under Labor’s safeguard,” Bandt said.
“This puts a limit on coal and gas expansion in Australia. Pollution will now go down, not up, as it was set to soar under Labor.”
Even with the deal finalised, Albanese said that there were things that Bandt had asked for that wasn’t agreed, because they weren’t in par with Labor policies.
Currently, there are specific requirements whereby emissions higher than 100,000 tonnes a year, need to be approved under environment laws, with the climate minister assessing if it is consistent with the goal under the safeguard mechanism.
Photo: Pollution by 小书生 available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This image has not been modified.