When NSW’s Energy Minister Don Harwin called on the Federal Minister Angus Taylor at the COAG energy meeting in Adelaide this week to add an emission obligation to the agenda for discussion, it was resolutely blocked.
Angus Taylor after the meeting expressed satisfaction that he had been able to maintain a steely focus on energy reliability and price, without the distraction of arguing over emission targets. However his stubborn negativity, is not helping the Coalition’s chance of re-election next year.
It has not been the change of Prime Ministers per se that has turned voters off the Coalition. What moderates are up in arms about, more than anything else, is the dismantling of three times approved Liberal Policy on Climate Change, based on the best available scientific advice, to ensure that Australia’s energy production meets appropriate standards for both reliability and emissions control.
The public is concerned when there are temperatures in excess of 40 degrees in April and November, droughts of increasing severity, lasting 6-7 years, bush-fires before and after the usual bush-fire season, and simultaneous flooding rains and cyclones in others parts of the country.
Tony Abbott’s categorisation of climate change science as “absolute crap”, and his derisive comments directed at those who take climate change seriously have not yet been forgotten.
Don Harwin’s position has gone a long way to improving the NSW Coalition’s prospects at the March 23 2019 election. But there is another reason why if Angus Taylor is really concerned for Australia’s future he would have encouraged debate on emissions.
The Business Council of Australia commended Don Harwin for his stance, and has pointed out the need for certainty as to how emissions will be treated, before business makes major long-term investment decisions. Both the States and Labor have expressed a willingness to unite on energy policy to provide that certainty for business, but to their shame, the Coalition under Scott Morrison will have none of it.
Not only has the Coalition no emission reduction target, and thus does not require power companies to reduce carbon emissions, but they also have an intent to ramp-up Coal Mining, for both export and local use, and to deliver new government subsidised coal-fired power stations.
The selling pitch to consumers is cheaper electricity prices delivered by screwing company profits.