Scott Morrison, clearly realising there is a sizeable portion of the population who care somewhat about the fact the planet is cooking underneath our feet, today announced a blockbuster new ‘direct action’ climate change policy, which weirdly is exactly the same as Tony Abbott‘s one from several years ago, just with a new name. This is incredible gear!
.@ScottMorrisonMP: Today I am announcing the government’s climate solution package.
It is a comprehensive, $3.5 billion plan over the next decade to deliver on Australia’s 2030 emission reduction targets.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 24, 2019
Morrison – who presides over a government packed with dudes who know full well that they’ll be dead and buried before the worst effects of climate change hit, and therefore have absolutely no intention of doing anything about it – announced he will revive the so-called Emissions Reduction Fund, promising a pretty paltry $2 billion of funds over 10 years.
Does this “climate solutions fund” involve cutting back on coal production and making real, meaningful and most importantly structural efforts to reduce emissions? Haha fuck nah it doesn’t. As per the Sydney Morning Herald:
The revamped direct action initiative, to be rebadged as the Climate Solutions Fund, will include public money for “on country” Indigenous Australians to prevent bushfires, small businesses wanting to reduce energy bills through new technology and farmers seeking to revegetate degraded land and drought proof their farms.
Morrison says that the point of the policy is to approach climate change with “cool heads, not just impassioned hearts,” and that Australia is still very much on track to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030. It’s pretty complex and circuitous math which leads him to that promise, given that the government’s own numbers suggest emissions have been rising since the carbon price was dumped in 2013.
In addition to this deeply innovative rehash of literal climate change denier Tony Abbott’s banner climate change policy, Morrison will announce new energy efficiency measures, hydroelectric projects and some manner of electric car policy over the coming days.
A great investigation by Guardian Australia last year found it was difficult to ascertain whether the original $2 billion fund implemented by the Abbott government was producing results commensurate with the amount of money being dumped into it. As it turns out, billions of dollars flying around as incentive for individual businesses to reduce emissions can end up as a little bit of a rort! Whodathunkit.
Of course, this is just tinkering around the edges. Just 100 companies worldwide are responsible for 71% of emissions, and any effort which doesn’t tackle our big polluters directly is just PR– not an actual policy!
Let’s be clear on why Scott is recycling old policy. Urban seats which lean Liberal – like the recently fallen Wentworth, and Tony Abbott‘s seat of Warringah – have signalled that they’re willing to go for moderate independent candidates in no small part because of the looming threat of climate change. If they could get away with it, the Coalition government would do literally nothing about climate change, but they know they no longer can.
So there we have it. Leading up the election, Scott Morrison’s innovative climate change policy is the same as Tony Abbott’s one, with a shiny new name and more cash. Genius!