Thursday, 17 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; Third Reading
A vote for the abolition of the clean energy package is a vote for failure because it is a recognition that this parliament does not want to face up to the four to six degrees of warming, which is the trajectory we are on as a planet. They do not want to face up to what is intergenerational theft, because a planet facing the warming that we are now being subjected to, and will be subjected to, is a planet experiencing the sixth extinction crisis. It will be a planet suffering rising sea levels. It will be a planet suffering food security crises and it will be a nation, Australia, failing to play our role in global negotiations. We will be a global pariah as the rest of the world moves to try to secure a treaty in 2015 to give people on this planet a chance of survival in the face of a climate emergency. Australia will be relegated to a pariah and a backwater. But it is also a failure to understand that the future is going to be powered by renewable energy, by innovation, by excitement and by new manufacturing.
If this parliament votes to abandon the clean energy package, you are voting against the best interests of the nation. It is a huge opportunity cost to Australia. We will be sidelined in global capital markets. We will be sidelined in innovation. Already GE is out today saying that the pipeline of investment in renewable energy is in jeopardy because of what Australia is doing. This is an appalling day for Australia when a government, rather than lead in the face of what the world is facing up to and rather than lead and be ahead in the race to the future, is determined to stick with the past. So the Greens say, absolutely: this will be a short-lived victory for the Abbott government and those who vote with it today, because Australia will not stand for it. People want this country to lead. People want innovation. People want the clean energy future and people will understand very quickly that the supposed benefits will not be realised. But what people will face is another summer of extreme weather events and more summers after that, as our Pacific neighbours will
And so, I am here to say that the Greens will join with everyone across the country in bringing back to this parliament a more rigorous framework of legislation that will get Australia onto the track we need to be on; that is a 40 to 60 percent emissions reduction target on 2000 levels by 2030 and net carbon zero by 2050. That is the kind of ambition that we will be out talking to the community about and making sure that we get back to this parliament. We will give hope to future generations. That is what we are going to do: go out and provide hope and a focus on the future while the government and those who support it today are going out to the community focussing on the past and giving people nothing but despair. The future demands people who face the challenges posed now. The Greens are up and ready for that task.