Monday, 14 July 2014
Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, True-up Shortfall Levy (General) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, True-up Shortfall Levy (Excise) (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, Customs Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, Excise Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2014, Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2014; Second Reading
We have some guy up there—I do not know who he is—saying that this is rubbish. The vast majority of the world's scientists agree that climate change is real, that it is being caused by humans and that it is being caused by carbon pollution. One other thing we know for sure and certain is that the cost of not acting today will be borne by future generations, and it will be borne at a much higher rate than the cost of reasonable mitigation strategies today. We are leaving for our children not just an environmental disaster but the economic cost of dealing with that environmental disaster. And we have a responsibility, not just because we as parents and grandparents consider the sort of world that we want to leave our children but because, per capita, Australians are one of the greatest emitters of carbon pollution in the world. We have a responsibility to be part of global action to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.
Labor has always been consistent about the need to act on this. Back in the day, John Howard was also committed to action on climate change. In fact, we had both John Howard and Kevin Rudd going to the 2007 election saying that they would introduce an emissions trading scheme, because climate change is real, it is happening, and we need to do something about it. And that is what we have been working on since 2007: a real, fair dinkum scheme that will actually reduce carbon emissions over time. Our carbon pollution reduction scheme—the first one that was negotiated between Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister and Malcolm Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition back in the day—would have done that. It would have achieved that. Unfortunately the member for Wentworth, the Minister for Communications, who is actually a believer in climate change and someone who is prepared to stand by and have the courage of his convictions and not be weathervane on this issue, was defeated by just one vote by his own caucus. And the rest, as they say, is history. The Greens went on to help. The Tony-Abbott-led Liberal Party actually blocked that very important motion.