Energetics for the Austrian Dept. of the Environment
[The Guardian] Modelling hailed by the Liberal party as proof its Direct Action plan could meet Australia’s long-term climate promises in fact assumes the Coalition would turn its policy into a type of emissions trading scheme, according to the authors.
The environment minister, Greg Hunt, released the modelling, by the Energetics consulting firm, just days before the election was called and told the Australian newspaper it was proof that critics of the government’s policy – who say it has no hope of reaching Australia’s target without changes – were totally wrong.
Malcolm Turnbull and Hunt are now campaigning against Labor’s plan for an emissions trading scheme, saying it is a “massive carbon tax” that will force huge rises in household electricity prices, while claiming their own policy can meet its 2030 target with no such impost.
The Energetics modelling found that the government’s emissions reduction fund and so-called “safeguards mechanism” could achieve around half the emissions reductions required between 2020 and 2030 to reach the government’s target of cutting emissions by 26% to 28%, around 500m tonnes.
But Peter Holt, associate at Energetics, told Guardian Australia that the policies would only achieve those reductions with changes – either large funding top-ups to the ERF (estimated by others at at least $6bn) or a strengthening of the safeguards mechanism so it turned into a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme.
The economist Danny Price – who has advised the government on Direct Action – agrees with Holt’s assessment that despite the government’s scare campaign against Labor’s ETS, it is going to have to introduce a similar version of emissions trading itself to meet its international pledges.