BREAKING NEWS: Hunt & Palmer announce climate change deal

Greg Hunt and Clive Palmer announcing climate policy agreement

Just after 5:00pm today, the Abbot Government and the Palmer United Party have announced a deal on Australia’s Climate Change Policy.

In a press conference in Canberra this afternoon, Federal Environment Minster Greg Hunt, Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer and Bernie Fraser have announced the newly brokered deal on policy to lead Australia forward on Climate Change, setting up milestones for at least the next 18 months. Here is what you need to know.

  1. The Climate Change Authority (CCA) Abolition Bill has been struck down, and will remain in play, as will the Clean Energy Council.
  2. The terminated Carbon Tax will not be resurrected, but in its place will be developed a more robust Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
  3. The Climate Change Authority, led by former RBA Chairman Bernie Fraser, will conduct an 18 month review on the feasibility of an ETS, learning from best practice and from international actors and governmental bodies.
  4. The CCA Review will be conducted in three stages, with the final stage and report to be presented to the Government following the Paris Climate Summit in July 2016.
  5. Four out of five of Nick Xenophon’s proposals were agreed upon, with the exception of the Strategic Reserves Initiative.

Greg Hunt spoke, outlining this Direct Action Plan, saying that the Federal Government was “committed to working with the global community”. Clive Palmer followed up with similar sentiment and echoed Obama’s comments from the UN Climate Summit noting that “this is much bigger than any other issue we face. [This deal] is here to keep hope alive”. As per usual, Palmer noted that this (like many of his other deals) would “provide real results for everyday Australians”.

Bernie closed out the formal commentary, acknowledging his new role as head of the ETS Review, saying that the CCA was an independent body that would take a balanced, national, long term approach and would help “form a broader political consensus on climate change” in Australia.

Whilst this is certainly a development, it is not yet a consensus on what should be happening. There has been no real mention of action around the Renewable Energy Target (RET); it looks like Christine Milne, and the Greens will surely have something to say on this and the whole policy.

We will certainly hear more on the Federal Government’s Direct Action Plan as the details unfold. How will the rest of the public respond?

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