Australian Senate kills emissions trading scheme bills  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The SMH reports that Australia's emission trading scheme legislation has been rejected by the Senate - Senate kills emissions trading scheme bills.

The Senate has defeated legislation to establish an emissions trading scheme, forcing the Government to negotiate with the Opposition or persist with its bill with the threat of an early election.

Just after 11am, the Opposition, Greens, and the independents, Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding, voted to defeat the package of 11 bills that sought to establish a scheme from 2011 onwards.

The Greens say the Government's 2020 emissions reduction targets - between an unconditional 5 per cent and a highly-conditional 25 per cent - are too timid.

The Coalition and independent senator Nick Xenophon want the Government to consider an alternative scheme, based on a model they commissioned from Frontier Economics.

Family First's Steve Fielding is yet to be convinced human activity is causing global warming.

In the end the Senate voted 42 to 30 to reject the bills.

The Government must now wait three months before reintroducing the same legislation.

If the bills are rejected a second time, Labor will have a trigger to dissolve both houses of Parliament and call an early election.

The Clean Energy Council called for the Renewable Energy Target to be re-introduced as a separate bill instead of combining it with an emissions trading scheme that no one likes - CPRS voted down, so pass the Renewable Energy Target now.
Both major parties need to put politics aside and cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET) bill free from the defeated CPRS for immediate passage or risk catastrophic damage to and job losses in Australia’s emerging clean energy industry.

The Rudd Government was elected nearly two years ago promising a 45,000 GWH or 20 per cent renewable energy target (RET) by 2020. Nearly two years later that promise remains unfulfilled.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said this delay is now costing the clean energy industry more than $2 million a week. The price of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) saw a sharp fall following the Senate’s deferral of the RET bill in June and have stayed low, wiping millions off the value of existing renewable energy projects.

“Orders for solar PV have evaporated and staff are now being laid off or are idle in clean energy companies across an industry which is supposed to be gearing up to deliver 20 per cent of Australia’s
electricity in 11 years time,” Mr Warren said.

“This is an emerging industry that cannot bear these costs any longer. It is incomprehensible that the frontline response to the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy market is being allowed to atrophy in this
fashion.”

The RET will unleash around $28 billion of new investment and along with energy efficiency strategies will create more than 28,000 new clean jobs in Australia.

A recent survey by Newspoll commissioned by the CEC found 89 per cent of Australians want more renewable energy and increased government efforts to stimulate investment.

“The RET bill needs to pass, and quickly,” Mr Warren said. “The time for political games is over. The bill needs to be amended immediately to de-couple it from the CPRS. This is a simple amendment.”

“The clean energy industry asks both major parties to put political point scoring aside and support the swift and streamlined passage of an expanded renewable energy target in Australia.'

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