Australian Government Axes Climate Programmes

Benny Peiser, GWPF

MPs Call For Review Of Britain’s Climate Change Act

Public servants are drawing up plans to collapse 33 climate change schemes run by seven departments and eight agencies into just three bodies run by two departments under a substantial rewrite of the administration of carbon abatement schemes under the Coalition. The move is forecast to save the government tens of millions of dollars. The Climate Change Authority, which sets emissions caps, the Climate Commission, which has conducted research into climate change, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which funds renewable technologies, are all slated to be abolished under the plans. –Sid Maher and Lauren Wilson, The Australian, 11 September 2013

Following the election of a new government, Australia is to abolish its emissions trading scheme, disband a climate advisory body and institute a carbon reduction policy that experts say will fail to meet its meagre target.

Tony Abbott’s coalition signalled that it would disband Australia’s Climate Commission – an independent scientific body that provides reliable information on climate change to the public. In response to a report the commission released, warning that extreme weather was made more likely by climate change, Abbott said: “When the carbon tax goes, all of those bureaucracies will go and I suspect we might find that the particular position you refer to goes with them.” –Michael Slezak, New Scientist, 10 September 2013

Coalition MP Dennis Jensen, who is a vocal climate science sceptic, has called on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott to appoint him as science minister. “At the moment to be honest I’m feeling under-utilised,” said Dr Jensen, the member for Tangney in Western Australia, who has a master’s degree in physics and a PhD in material science. Dr Jensen suggests he would be better qualified than anyone to take charge of science. “I’m not aware of any other scientist [in the Parliament],” he said. –Jonathan Swan, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2013

During the election campaign countless thousands of words were written claiming Australia’s carbon tax would either not be removed because Tony Abbott would have second thoughts or would be blocked in the Senate. Assuming the Coalition was convincing, it was always a very dubious argument because the Labor Party would not want another election after a big defeat. But, as it happens, the election gave effective control of the Senate to a group of unknowns and that makes the end of the carbon tax virtually certain, without a double dissolution. The independents were elected on complex preference arrangements and now have six years in the Senate. If there is a double dissolution in the second half of 2014 they may not be re-elected and their term will be closer to six months. So once it becomes a double dissolution issue carbon taxes will go. –Robert Gottliebsen, Business Spectator, 12 September 2013

I urge the minister, in the light of all the evidence that has come out about the lack of any change in temperature over the past 15 years, to think again about the Climate Change Act and to revoke it, amend it and support home owners and British businesses. –David Davies MP, House of Commons, 10 September 2013

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Climate Change Act is without doubt the most foolish piece of statute that any of us here is likely to see in Parliament? Does he further agree that the very principle of unilaterally re-embarking on a crash programme of carbon reduction can only have the effect of exporting our energy-intensive industries to places where they may emit more carbon, and that carbon reduction will have only a nugatory effect on the problem because, as he correctly states, the Chinese are increasing carbon emissions faster than we are succeeding in reducing them? –Andrew Tyrie MP, House of Commons, 10 September 2013

What worries me is our attacks on people’s energy bills — the poorest suffer most — and on British industry, because we have such penal energy policies. Tony Abbott recently won an important election victory in Australia saying that for him it was a referendum on the carbon tax, because he simply rejected dear energy for Australia. He was right about that for Australia, and should we not be doing the same here? –John Redwood MP House of Commons, 10 September 2013

Does my hon. Friend acknowledge that although the issue used to be called “global warming”, when the globe stopped warming the fanatics changed the name to “climate change” because nobody can ever deny that the climate changes? As he has just acknowledged, the climate always changes, and by changing the name they admitted that their previous hypothesis was wrong. –Philip Davies MP, House of Commons, 10 September 2013

David Cameron will face another challenge to his authority and credibility as a world leader today when Conservative MPs call for the UK to abandon its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. David Davies, the MP for Monmouth, and his other backbench colleagues will call during a debate in Westminster Hall for the Government to review the Climate Change Act, which commits the UK to cut its emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990. So Mr Cameron will have to choose between pandering to ‘sceptics’ in his own party or instead side with the world’s scientific community. It may not be an easy choice for the Prime Minister. And most of the editors of Britain’s right-wing newspapers have been coaxed by Lord Lawson into carrying out a concerted campaign of misinformation about the causes and consequences of climate change. –Bob Ward, The Independent, 10 September 2013

Nine of Europe’s biggest utilities have joined forces to warn that the EU’s energy policies are putting the continent’s power supplies at risk. Their intervention will put added pressure on EU leaders as they weigh the future of the bloc’s climate change policies. Gérard Mestrallet, chief executive of GDF Suez, said one of the biggest problems was overgenerous renewable energy subsidies that had pushed up costs for energy consumers and now needed to be cut: “We have to reduce the speed at which Europe is building new wind farms and solar panels. At the moment, it is not sustainable.” –Guy Chazan and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 10 September 2013

The battle over the future direction of the EU’s climate change strategy is to escalate further today, as a group of Europe’s leading energy companies prepares to warn that current policies are undermining the continent’s competitiveness. The energy giants are expected to side with the UK government and a number of other countries in arguing that the EU should not replace its current target for 2020 requiring a 20 per cent share of renewable energy with a new renewables target for 2030. -–BusinessGreen, 10 September 2013

Central European powerhouse Poland will anchor its energy strategy in coal and shale gas, with only limited investment in renewables, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday. An EU nation of 38 million people, Poland currently relies on its vast coal reserves to produce about 90 percent of the electricity it consumes. “We want to have renewable energy sources, but hard coal and lignite — and soon shale gas — will remain our principal energy sources. That’s where the future of the energy sector lies,” Tusk told reporters. –Agence France-Presse, 12 September 2013

In a really good article in the New York Times, Eduardo Porter explains the economic end of the global warming debate in terms that even the most rabid green could understand. If he’s right then it may be that sanity has broken out in Washington. The Americans are going to reject Sternonomics out of hand. How long before politicians in Westminster follow suit? –Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 12 September 2013

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