Abbott reassures coal sector over carbon plan
TONY Abbott says Australia’s coal industry will grow under his plan for new “economically responsible” targets to cut greenhouse gas pollution.
Outlining a modest plan for emissions reductions beyond 2020, Mr Abbott said he wanted Australia’s action on climate change to be in the middle of other comparable countries.
He said the plan to cut carbon emissions 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 would cost between $3 billion and $4 billion. He said the cost was “manageable” but warned it would soar to about $40 billion if Australians embraced a 40 per cent cut.
He has drawn the lines for another election battle over climate change, warning Labor’s emissions trading scheme plan would drive up power prices.
Mr Abbott said Labor wanted “to put the environment ahead of the economy” while his plan would protect both.
Insisting Australia’s resources sector would not suffer from the plan, Mr Abbott said high-quality coal would help China and other countries reduce their emissions.
But Labor and the Greens accused Mr Abbott of adopting a weak target that would do little to stop global warming.
Labor MPs labelled his dismissal of climate change as “absolute crap”.