Today is the eighth anniversary of the Greens putting their petty political interests ahead of the planet.
Eight years ago today the Greens voted down Labor’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in the Senate. Their five votes would have ensured the Bill passed and Australia would have an Emissions Trading Scheme established.
The CPRS was environmentally effective, economically responsible, and socially just. Bob Brown and the Greens wanted to fight the 2010 election with climate change in the headlines, so they sided with Tony Abbott and the hard-right Coalition to kill off an effective carbon reduction scheme.
The Greens claimed they did this because the CPRS lacked environmental purity. Yet they agreed, through the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change to an Emissions Trading Scheme in the Clean Energy Future (CEF) Package that was much browner.
The CEF compensation to legacy coal-fired power stations was twice the amount of money the CPRS proposed, it provided $300 million to the steel industry, allocated 94.5 per cent free permits to the most carbon intensive industries and set a defaults 2020 emissions reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels.
If voting down the CPRS was really about policy purity the Greens would not have subsequently supported the CEF package.
The Greens’ cynical behaviour set back action on climate change for a generation - their refusal to support Labor’s policy in the Senate led to the Government delaying the CPRS which led to the 2010 hung parliament and the scare campaign that Tony Abbott was able to run before the implementation of the CEF Emissions Trading Scheme.
This all led directly to Tony Abbott being elected Prime Minister and the chaos of the last five years of Coalition Government.
The Greens political party have environmental blood on their hands and are directly responsible for a decade of lost action on climate change in Australia.
By contrast, the Labor Party stands committed to our policy of achieving 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and a 45 per cent emissions reduction target on 2005 levels by 2030. We are the only party who has consistently advocated, and indeed legislated, sensible policy regarding climate change, and the Greens and the Coalition have systematically opposed us every step of the way.