House debates

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Questions without Notice

Carbon Pricing

2:34 pm

Photo of Greg CombetGreg Combet (Charlton, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation) Share this | Hansard source

I would like to thank the member for Throsby for his question, because too often we hear these issues about climate change and action being taken in other countries misrepresented. We have heard it just a moment ago from the member for Indi, misrepresenting President Obama's speech last night outlining a plan to take action on climate change in the United States. Of course the opposition leader is a serial offender in this regard, constantly misrepresenting the action that is taken by our major trading partners on the issue of climate change—all pure deceit and mendacity, time and time again.

We know that carbon pricing started last week in Shenzhen in China and it will shortly commence in a number of other cities and provinces throughout China. Overnight President Obama announced a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change in the US. As the Prime Minister brought to the attention of the House a moment ago, he did emphasise his preference for a market-based mechanism to deal with this issue. But, of course, Republicans in the US congress, like the Liberal Party here, have been captured by extremists who block rational economic policymaking and deny facts and deny the climate science. That is what we are dealing with on that side of the House and that is what President Obama is dealing with in the US congress. President Obama's plan includes measures to reduce emissions from coal fired power generation, to support renewable energy, to promote energy efficiency and to promote investment in clean energy innovation. It builds on the emissions trading scheme arrangements that already exist in a number of US states, including the state of California, which has an emissions trading scheme in place. President Obama made absolutely clear and unequivocal his respect for the climate science and also had this to say:

… I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.

The convener of the flat earth society in Australia sits over there. The opposition leader describes the science as absolute crap. What a disreputable position for a political leader in this country, to deny facts and science. He went around the country with his mendacious campaign: Whyalla wiped off the map; prices going through the roof; we would not be able to afford anything; 'the cost of living'; 'It's going to destroy the economy.' Hundreds of thousands of jobs were going to go. 'The US is doing nothing. China is doing nothing. Why on earth would Australia be doing anything at all?' That is the deception that has gone up and up and up. The emissions are coming down and down and down. We have made a great Labor reform and your position is a moral disgrace. (Time expired)


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