According to Labor, carbon emissions in Australia, would be 200 million tons lower, and prices of electricity would be cheaper, if the Greens had supported the carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS), which was proposed around a decade ago.
Key Labor leader, Pat Conroy, was speaking on the 10th anniversary of Labor’s failure of its emissions trading system, criticizing the political failure to develop a national energy policy, labelling it as the most consequential failure of policy in the modern era of Australia.
Conroy aimed his criticism at interest groups on both sides, for the blockages on a national energy policy, calling out the decision by the Greens to support the Liberal and National parties to block the Labor’s CPRS initiative in 2009 at the Australian Senate, calling it a major error in political judgement, that are expected to have major impact on results.
Conroy addressed the Australian National University, saying: “The Coalition and the Greens bear a heavy responsibility for the fact that, a decade later, Australia still does not have an effective policy to tackle climate change by reducing emissions. It has had disastrous and long-lasting consequences for Australia’s ability to respond effectively to climate change.”
Conroy Calls for Accountability of Environment Groups
According to Conroy, in the case where the CPRS was to be implemented, emissions for 2020, would have been cut down to 459 million tons, instead of the current 540 tons projection for 2020, which is expected to rise to 563 million tons by 2030.
Conroy spoke about the 2020 target saying: “The costs of this failure are being born by Australian households and businesses facing higher prices, risks to the reliability of energy supplies and missed economic opportunities (and) these costs will only grow into the future. That is 81m tons lower than now projected, or more than all of the fugitive emissions from the Australian coalmining and oil and gas production industries combined.”
He further argued that environment groups have to own responsibility for the impasses in the climate policy for Australia, calling them on being an enemy of a good cause in opposing the CPRS initiative.