LABOR WILL ACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND HAND A BETTER DEAL TO OUR KIDS

A Shorten Labor Government will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change – to ensure we hand on a better deal to the next generation.
 
After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.
 
Ignoring climate change is simply not an answer.
 
Australia needs leadership – to protect jobs, grow the economy, cut pollution and deal with more extreme weather like droughts and floods, with natural disasters already costing the economy $18 billion a year.
 
At the same time, Australian households are seeing their power bills soar – families and businesses are taking this into their own hands and backing renewable energy because they know more renewables means lower power prices.
 
Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050.
 
We are also committed to 50 per cent renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030.
 
Labor’s plan will tackle climate change to keep the economy growing by:
 

  • Investing in renewable energy and batteries to grow jobs and cut power bills  With almost two million Australian households having solar panels, Australians are enthusiastic adopters of renewables. Labor will empower Australians to take advantage of cheaper, clean renewable energy and storage, by offering $2000 rebates for solar batteries for 100,000 households, with a target of 1,000,000 batteries by 2025. We will also double the original investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation by $10 billion, supporting new generation and storage across the country. Labor’s investment will support our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 for the nation’s electricity generation, which will see cleaner and cheaper power and more than 70,000 new jobs.
 
  • Boosting clean transport and infrastructure– A key part of tackling pollution will be tackling transport emissions – which make up almost 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions and one of the fastest growing sources of pollution. Labor will implement Australia’s first national electric vehicle policy, setting a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 and introducing vehicle emissions standards to reduce pollution and make the cost of driving a car cheaper for consumers. 
 
  • Working in partnership with business to help bring down pollution – Labor will reduce pollution by big polluters over the decade by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull – the safeguard mechanism. Australia’s biggest industrial polluters (about 250 – or just 0.01 per cent of all businesses) will be covered by Labor’s scheme, which will not include the agricultural sector. Pollution caps will be reduced over time and Labor will make it easier for businesses to meet these caps by allowing for industrial and international offsets. Facilities can also earn credits and make money from reducing pollution below their baselines. Labor will not introduce a carbon tax or new a carbon pricing mechanism and our reforms will not raise any government revenue.
 
  • Supporting trade exposed industries to keep Australian businesses competitive – Emission intensive trade exposed industries (EITEs), such as steel, aluminium and cement, face additional barriers to cutting pollution while staying competitive in global markets. In recognition of this, Labor will provide tailored treatment for EITEs under the extended safeguard mechanism. This will ensure they face comparable impacts from climate change policies as their competitors do in relevant international markets. Labor will also establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce and $300m Strategic Industries Reserve Fund to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive. 
 
  • Helping the land sector to cut pollution while giving farmers and the forestry industry new opportunities to earn income – No one knows our land better than our farmers – they’ve been leading the way in responding to climate change. The agricultural sector will be exempt from the expanded safeguard mechanism – we won’t have targets for farmers. Labor wants to see Australia’s land sector supply more affordable offsets for pollution, which will reduce the cost of abatement for business and give farmers and regional communities greater economic opportunities. We will review and reinvigorate the carbon farming initiative, and develop a high-quality, well-functioning offset market. Labor will also put in place new federal legislation to bring broad-scale land clearing under control. Where states properly regulate land clearing, such as in Queensland, Labor will take no action.
In addition, Labor has taken the decision not to allow the use of Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets. By allowing the carryover of Kyoto credits, the Liberals’ already weak target effectively falls from 26 per cent to 16 per cent. Using Kyoto credits is fake action on climate change, and Ukraine is the only other country in the world to confirm they will do this.
 
Labor will restore and reform important institutions like the Climate Change Authority, and to make sure we can adapt to a changing climate, we will conduct the first ever comprehensive Climate Change Assessment on the likely and potential impacts of climate change on all aspects of Australian life.
 
Our policy has been developed in consultation with industry and experts, and it builds on already announced policies like our Energy Plan and Hydrogen Plan.
 
It’s a good plan for families, for industry – and for the planet.
 
The Liberal Party is full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change – Scott Morrison even brought a lump of coal into Parliament instead of a climate policy.
The Liberals have helped push up power prices by having 13 different energy policies, undermining investment in renewable energy, supporting taxpayer money for new coal plants and backing power privatisations.
There is only one major political party serious about real action on climate change – Labor.  That’s because we are determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation.
 
Only Labor will deliver real action on climate change to deliver lower pollution, lower power prices and a stronger economy.
 
More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan
 
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019

PARTNERING WITH BIG BUSINESS TO BRING DOWN POLLUTION
 

A Shorten Labor Government will work with Australia’s biggest industrial polluters to help them cut their pollution, grow their business and create a cleaner future for the next generation.
 
Ignoring climate change isn’t the answer. 
 
Real action on climate change isn’t just about protecting our environment – it’s about future-proofing our economy and protecting jobs.
 
Under the Liberals and Nationals industrial pollution has risen by 17 percent, and their own projections show it will rise all the way to 2030.
 
That’s why Labor will work in partnership with business to help bring down pollution – providing overdue policy certainty and helping the industrial sector plan for the future.
 
There will be no carbon tax, carbon pricing mechanism, or government revenue.
 
Rather, Labor will reduce pollution from the biggest industrial polluters by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull – the safeguard mechanism.
 
The safeguard mechanism was established under the Liberals and Nationals to cap industrial pollution for the biggest polluters, by setting pollution limits or ‘baselines’ for covered facilities.
 
However, the Liberals and Nationals have failed to make this mechanism effective in bringing down pollution, or incentivising reduction of pollution below a facility’s baseline.
 
Labor has listened to industry and stakeholders who desperately want stability after this chaotic government – they don’t want to start from scratch with another mechanism. Industry feedback has been unanimous, businesses want Labor to expand the safeguard mechanism, and we’ve listened.
 
Labor will expand the safeguard mechanism to make it effective and relevant:
 

  • Coverage will be extended to apply to the biggest industrial polluters. Labor will work with industry to extend coverage to a threshold of 25,000 tonnes of direct CO2 pollution annually, and we will consult with industry on this coverage threshold and how it is phased in. It’s estimated around 250 of Australia’s biggest industrial polluters would be captured by this threshold – just 0.01 per cent of all businesses. The agricultural sector will not be covered by the expanded safeguard mechanism, and Labor will work with the red meat industry-owned Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia, to help it meet its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. Likewise, electricity sector facilities will not be included – they will be covered separately by Labor’s Energy Plan.
 
  • Pollution levels will be reduced:Labor’s safeguard mechanism will reduce industrial pollution in line with Labor’s targets – fixing one of the biggest issues with the current safeguards mechanism, its failure to bring down pollution. Labor will consult with industry on the baselines and trajectories that apply to each covered entity.
 
  • Businesses will be able to earn credits for overachievement: Labor will allow for businesses to earn credits and be rewarded for reducing pollution below their baselines, which they can sell or carry over to meet their future pollution cap. This means businesses can make money out of cutting pollution.
 
  • Emissions intensive trade exposed industries (EITEs) will be supported to keep Australian businesses competitive – In recognition that emission intensive trade exposed industries face particular challenges in reducing pollution while maintaining their international competitiveness, Labor will provide tailored treatment for EITEs such as steel, aluminium and cement. This will ensure they face comparable impacts from climate change policies as their competitors do in relevant international markets. Labor will also establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce and $300m Strategic Industries Reserve Fund to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive. 
 
Labor will consult with industry and experts on baselines that should apply to individual entities and how they will decrease over time.
 
In addition, Labor will put in place a well-functioning offset market and reinvigorate the land offset market.
 
Currently, a facility that emits more than its baseline must offset excess emissions by purchasing offsets, primarily from the land sector. But currently businesses cannot access international offsets, or offsets from the electricity sector.
 
Labor will make it easier for covered businesses to meet any offset obligations, not only by allowing for the creation and sale of offsets if emissions fall below baselines, but also through the purchase of international offsets and potentially offsets from the electricity sector.
 
We will also boost offset supply through revitalising the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) – including reforms to strengthen the integrity of the CFI, and increasing land and other sector abatement opportunities. This will include exploring the establishment of ‘premium’ land sector credits to provide substantial environmental, biodiversity and other co-benefits, establishing a Carbon Assessment Standard to boost the bankability of offset projects, and re-vitalising offset methodology research and development with an additional $40 million in funding over four years.
 
Labor’s plan will help industry reduce pollution at least cost, and give traditional owners, farmers, the forestry industry and traditional owners new opportunities to earn income.
 
Labor will also abolish the Liberal’s ineffective and expensive Emission Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF has failed to drive down Australia’s emissions, while costing Australian taxpayers $2.25 billion, with the Liberals pledging a further $2 billion for this ineffective policy.
 
Labor’s approach isn’t about punishing polluters, it’s about partnering with industry to find real, practical solutions to cut pollution, in a way that protects and grows industry and jobs.
 
The Liberal Party is full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change – Scott Morrison even brought a lump of coal into Parliament instead of a climate policy.
 
The Liberals and Nationals have pushed up power prices and pollution by undermining investment in renewable energy and backing power privatisations – and their chaos and division means industry can’t adequately plan and invest in the future.
 
There is only one major political party serious about real action on climate change – Labor. That’s because we are determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation – and we will partner with business and industry to achieve it.
 
Only Labor will deliver real action on climate change and lower pollution, lower power prices and a stronger economy.
 
More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan
 
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019 

A STRATEGY FOR A CLEANER TRANSPORT FUTURE
 

A Shorten Labor Government will work with Australia’s transport sector to cut vehicle emissions, boost adoption of electric vehicles and help Australians save on their petrol bills.
 
Australia needs real action on climate change – not the chaos and division of the Liberals. And real action on climate change means a plan to reduce pollution in the transport sector while saving money for motorists.
 
Transport emissions make up almost 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions and are a fast growing source of pollution
 
Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s in electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency. We have ten times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind.
 
That’s why Labor will introduce Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle (EV) policy – building the local industry, generating more local jobs, and helping consumers make the switch.
 
Labor’s strategy will include:
 
  • A national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030– The global transition to electric vehicles is well underway, but the Liberals’ failure to deliver credible climate change and electric vehicle policies means Australia is now last among western counties for electric vehicle uptake. Incredibly, New Zealand has more electric vehicles than Australia.  Setting a national target will deliver more affordable electric vehicles into the Australian market and drive the switch to electric vehicles, reducing their cost, create thousands of jobs and cutting pollution. 
 
  • Set a government electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles by 2025 – This government fleet target will send a strong signal to the global industry that we expect cost competitive vehicles to be available for the Australian market. Government electric vehicle fleets will also be important in developing a second hand market. Labor will work towards requiring all Commonwealth‑owned-and-leased office buildings to include the provision of charging infrastructure where appropriate.
 
  • Growing private electric vehicle fleets: Labor will allow businesses an upfront tax deduction to purchase electric vehicles for business purposes, as part of Labor’s announced Australian Investment Guarantee. We will allow business to immediately deduct 20 per cent depreciation for EV vehicles valued at more than $20,000 as part of private fleets
 
  • Regulatory reforms and COAG agenda: Labor will establish an electric vehicle COAG agenda to improve coordination of electric vehicle take-up and related infrastructure planning. Labor will also require all federally-funded road upgrades to incorporate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, work with states to ensure new and refurbished commercial and residential developments include electric vehicle charging capacity, promote national standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and ensure investment in public charging stations meet these standards.
 
As part of our focus on cleaner and cheaper transportation, Labor will also work with industry to introduce vehicle emissions standards, to save Australian motorists hundreds of dollars each year at the bowser while driving down pollution on our roads.
 
Australia is now one of the only developed nations without vehicle emissions standards in place. As a result, motorists will pay as much as $500 each year more at the bowser than they should be, as well as seeing pollution on our roads sky-rocket.
 
Labor will consult on the timeline and coverage of vehicle emission standards to ensure consumers are made significantly better off, and aim to phase-in standards of 105g CO2/km for light vehicles, which is consistent with Climate Change Authority advice.
 
These are sensible standards which will bring Australia’s cars into line with those in the US, which has a similar car fleet to ours, but won’t be as stringent as those operating in the EU.
 
These standards will be applied to car retailers to meet average emissions standards, rather than imposing blanket mandatory standards on manufacturers. This will allow retailers to meet the standards by offsetting high emissions car sales with low or zero emissions car sales – such as electric vehicles.
 
In addition, Labor will also develop a Low Emission Transport Strategy to inform future policy development across transport more broadly, including maritime, aviation, rail and heavy vehicles. We’ll develop a Bioenergy Strategy, that will see more clean fuels on our roads and more jobs on our regions. These policies will be complemented by our already announced Hydrogen Plan. 
 
Labor also has an electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing strategy and will work with industry to create new job opportunities with the transition.
 
After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.
 
A Shorten Labor Government will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change – to ensure we hand on a better deal to the next generation.
 
More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019

WORKING WITH THE FARMING AND FORESTRY SECTORS TO REDUCE POLLUTION
 

No one knows our land better than our farmers – they’ve been leading the way in responding to climate change. That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will help the land sector to reduce pollution while giving farmers and the forestry industry new opportunities to earn income.
 
Australia’s land sector offers huge potential to supply low cost offsets for Australian businesses, while supporting regional economic development, Indigenous economic development, and improved bio-diversity.  
 
To bring down pollution broad-scale land clearing needs to be brought under control to ensure Australia has a robust offset market and to meet our Paris targets. Rates of land clearing more than doubled in Queensland after the LNP abolished virtually all controls, peaking at about two-thirds the rate of the Amazon’s deforestation and killing millions of native wildlife.
 
Under the chaotic Liberals and Nationals Government – specifically the tinkering and neglect of Labor’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) methodology – pollution has risen in the land sector which has led to perverse environmental outcomes.
 
A Shorten Labor Government will reinvigorate the land offset market to help industry reduce pollution at least cost, and give farmers, the forestry industry and traditional land owners new opportunities to earn income by:
 
  • Supporting the meat industry’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 through a Strategic Meat Industry plan, with funding of $2 million over the forward estimates.
 
  • Reviewing and strengthening Labor’s CFI with the aim of increasing land sector abatement opportunities and ensuring CFI methodologies are robust. This will include exploring the establishment of ‘premium’ land sector credits which provide substantial environmental, biodiversity and other co-benefits.
 
  • Improving integrity and growth of the offset market by boosting carbon farming methodology research and development ($40 million over forward estimates) and introducing a carbon assessment standard.
 
  • Ensuring the federal government can intervene to put in protections to stop broad-scale land clearing. Where states properly regulate land clearing, such as Queensland, Labor will take no action. Importantly:
 
  • Labor will build new tools and maps that help landholders understand if they are required to consider the federal land clearing protections, with funding of $8 million over the forward estimates. This will be a quick and simple online process designed to make it easier for farmers to know if they need to comply with protections.
 
  • Labor will work with the states to bring the rest of the country in line with Queensland’s reporting of land clearing by implementing the state’s ground-tested SLATS system nationwide, and re-invigorating COAG’s National Vegetation Management Framework. Native title holders and tradition owners of the land would be exempt from land clearing protections while we consult with them on land clearing laws.
 
  • Develop and deliver a National Forestry Summit and a National Forestry Strategic Plan, to support the growth of a more sustainable and prosperous forestry industry.
 
More information is available at  https://www.alp.org.au/climate_change_action_plan  
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019

BUILDING THE ROAD INFRASTRUTURE NEEDED FOR A CLEANER CAR FUTURE
 

A Shorten Labor Government will future-proof Australia’s road networks so they can support the uptake of electric vehicles – creating a $200 million fund to rollout charging infrastructure across the country.
 
Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s in electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency. We have ten times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind.
 
That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will provide overdue leadership and policy to catch Australia up and save motorists at the bowser – with a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030.
 
To support this target, Labor will invest $100 million in the rollout of charging stations as across the country.
 
This will be in the form of a grant program to match industry as well as state and local government proposals – building up to $200 million fund in total – to deliver around 200 fast charging stations.
 
Labor’s $200 million fund will target rural and regional Australia and Australia’s most critical road corridors to encourage the take up of electric vehicles.
 
Locations for regional fast chargers will be carefully chosen to complement – not duplicate- current and proposed charger locations, and target key regional routes and destinations where providing charging points may not be merited solely on commercial grounds.This would not only give regional communities and businesses, including freight operators, greater access to affordable charging facilitates, it would also be good for regional tourism.A properly constructed national charging network would unlock millions of tonnes of carbon emission reductions. Long-distance highway travel accounts for 15 per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled in Australia, or about 2.8 billion litres of fuel consumption and 6.5 million tonnes of C02 emissions annually, or 65 million tonnes over the decade to 2030.This announcement builds on Labor’s electric vehicle policy – a comprehensive plan to work with Australia’s transport sector to cut vehicle emissions, boost adoption of electric vehicles and help Australians save on their petrol bills.
 
Labor’s strategy will include:
 
  • A national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030– The global transition to electric vehicles is well underway, but the Liberals’ failure to deliver credible climate change and electric vehicle policies means Australia is now last among western counties for electric vehicle uptake. Incredibly, New Zealand has more electric vehicles than Australia.  Setting a national target will deliver more affordable electric vehicles into the Australian market and drive the switch to electric vehicles, reducing their cost, create thousands of jobs and cutting pollution. 
 
  • Set a government electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles by 2025 – This government fleet target will send a strong signal to the global industry that we expect cost competitive vehicles to be available for the Australian market. Government electric vehicle fleets will also be important in developing a second hand market. Labor will work towards requiring all Commonwealth‑owned-and-leased office buildings to include the provision of charging infrastructure where appropriate.
 
  • Growing private electric vehicle fleets: Labor will allow businesses an upfront tax deduction to purchase electric vehicles for business purposes, as part of Labor’s announced Australian Investment Guarantee. We will allow business to immediately deduct 20 per cent depreciation for EV vehicles valued at more than $20,000 as part of private fleets
 
  • Regulatory reforms and COAG agenda: Labor will establish an electric vehicle COAG agenda to improve coordination of electric vehicle take-up and related infrastructure planning. Labor will also require all federally-funded road upgrades to incorporate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, work with states to ensure new and refurbished commercial and residential developments include electric vehicle charging capacity, promote national standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and ensure investment in public charging stations meet these standards.
 
Labor also has an electric vehicle innovation and manufacturing strategy and will work with industry to create new job opportunities with the transition.
 
As part of our focus on cleaner and cheaper transportation, Labor will also work with industry to introduce vehicle emissions standards, to save Australian motorists hundreds of dollars each year at the bowser while driving down pollution on our roads.
 
After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.
 
A Shorten Labor Government will deliver cleaner transport, build the road infrastructure needed for the future and help motorists save on soaring petrol bills.
 
MONDAY, 1 APRIL 2019


CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH STRATEGY
 

A Shorten Labor Government will develop Australia’s first National Strategy on Climate Change and Health, to address the health impacts of climate change.
 
Labor knows that the federal government needs to lead on protecting the health and well-being of Australian communities from the impacts of climate change, and in fulfilling its international obligations under the Paris Agreement.
 
That’s why a Labor Government will develop and implement this Strategy – as we first announced almost two years ago, and confirmed in our National Platform.
 
The health impacts of climate change are not a concern purely for the future, they are with us here and now.
 
Australia’s health experts have estimated that:
 
  • Heatwaves in Victoria in 2009 and 2014 contributed to 374 and 167 excess deaths respectively;
  • Climate change is increasing the likelihood of events such as the 2016 thunderstorm asthma event in Victoria, which caused a 3,000% increase in asthma related admissions to intensive care; and
  • Reduced productivity due to extreme heat already costs the Australian economy over $8 billion annually and the economic losses and health risks will increase significantly as climate change impacts worsen.
Labor’s Strategy will be informed by the Framework that has already been developed by the Climate and Health Alliance – a coalition of more than 30 health and medical organisations.
 
Labor will work with the Alliance and groups like Doctors for the Environment and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation to develop and implement the Strategy.
 
Labor is committed to strong action on climate change, as outlined in our Climate Change Action plan, and we are committed to reducing the impact of the health system on the climate, as well as protecting the health of all Australians.
 
In contrast, the Liberals still can’t agree that climate change is real, while their record on health is one of cuts, soaring costs for patients and neglect of our health system.
 
Only Labor will deliver real leadership on climate change and health.
 
TUESDAY, 2 APRIL 2019