The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has said that the Coalition Government’s plan to scrap funding for clean energy programs is juxtaposed to its pledge to unite the world’s largest polluters in a G4 deal.
Liberal Environment spokesman Greg Hunt told The Australian that a G4 agreement, involving China, the United States, India and the European Union, was a project he would pursue at the G20 meeting next year.
Mr Hunt said Australia’s chairing of the G20, in Brisbane from December 1, presented an enormous opportunity to help broker a deal.
“There is an amazing opportunity for us to create a G4 agreement, and while it may not be solved by the G20 meeting the building blocks will be in place,” he said.
According to Tony Mohr, the ACF’s Manager for Climate Change, he supports the idea of a G4 agreement but fears it will not work.
“The ACF welcomes Mr Hunt’s intention to unite the US, China, India and the EU on climate change, but these countries may not take us seriously should we be the first to remove a carbon price and begin amending our clean energy policies,” he said.
The removal of the carbon tax is not the only clean energy program to be axed, proposals by the Abbott Government include:
- Removing Australia’s ability to trade carbon internationally
- Dismantling the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)
- Reduced funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
- Removing the Clean Technology Program which encourages businesses to be more efficient
According to Mr Mohr and the Climate Institute these proposed plans will lead to a nine per cent increase in carbon pollution, from 2000 levels, by 2020.