Comment by Peter Roberts
The federal government has resurrected a discredited policy from the past to fill the gap left by its failure to pursue its own National Energy Guarantee.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison resurrected the discredited Abbott-era direct action plan in announcing his latest climate and business policy.
His $3 billion Climate Solutions Package tips another $2 billion over 10 years into a renamed Emissions Reductions Fund to provide grants to business to cut emissions.
Environment Minister, Meissa Price said: “The ERF is investing in our farmers to help them revegetate degraded land, to protect existing forest areas and to increase habitats for our native species.
“We are working with businesses to invest in the adoption of energy efficient business practices that are reducing costs and working with waste managers and with recyclers to reduce waste emissions.”
The former Direct Action plan subsidised many projects that would have gone ahead anyway, and was seen as the most expensive of any option for decarbonising the Australian economy.
A market mechanism rather than a grant is considered by far the most effective.
Now, the resurrected ERF has rightly been described as putting lipstick on a pig.
If you want to cut carbon there are far cheaper ways to do it.
If you want to stimulate the economy and help business to develop products and systems for a low-carbon future, there are far better ways of spending $2 billion
Just one project – the idea of using solar power to create Hydrogen for export from seawater – is far more prospective as a game changer.
For the economy it replaces LNG and coal as energy exports, and for the the environment it is a fuel that burns to create inly water.
Why not invest in something visionary like this?
But no, this is Australian politics, not reality.
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