Australian news, and some related international items

Bill Shorten’s climate policy, much better than Liberals’, but it might appeal to some Liberal voters?

Bill Shorten treads gently with careful climate change plan,, By Shane Wright, March 31, 2019 The environment has claimed many political victims since the 2007 election.

John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Malcolm Turnbull and even Tony Abbott were all, to an extent, brought down by their response to climate change. And if Scott Morrison is defeated at next month’s election there’s likely to be a mention of the issue in his political epitaph.

Which means Bill Shorten is well aware of the dangers around Labor’s latest climate change approach, which is being made public in the shadow of the federal budget and just six weeks out from an election.

Hence the absence of a carbon tax, the use of safeguard mechanisms which were introduced by Turnbull, the exclusion of agriculture except for where farmers and landholders may be able to turn a buck, handouts to trade-exposed businesses and credits to firms that over-achieve.

By targeting vehicle emissions, Labor is tapping a worldwide trend which already has countries such as China and Britain effectively outlawing the sale of new petrol-driven vehicles from 2040.

Labor isn’t even going this far. Instead, it is setting a target of 50 per cent new car sales being electric while also looking to lift overall vehicle emission standards.

The demise of the Australian car manufacturing industry means any fight against the proposed changes will have to be led by the government if it dares.

But arguing against tighter emission standards would run the risk of the Coalition looking like those who bemoaned the removal of lead from petrol in the 1980s.

Not that the government won’t try. While the $100 lamb roasts may be gone, it’s already trying to claim that a snag at the local school fete could go through the roof under Shorten.

Labor’s policy is as much an effort to neutralise the political attack as to find ways to truly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Bill Shorten doesn’t want his name added to the list of those MPs claimed by Australia’s climate wars.

April 1, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, election 2019

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