Australia to cut spending on climate change by 90%
Australia's ruling conservative coalition government is delivering on a campaign promise made last year to severerly cut environmental regulations and spending on climate change - including the elimination of a carbon tax that Prime Minister Tony Abbott refers to as "economic vandalism."
Spending will be slashed from more than $5 billion this year to around $500 million in 5 years.
Environmentalists and leftist politicians in the country protested the move by conservative Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s governing coalition to slash funding for climate programs, arguing such funding for green energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions were necessary to stop global warming.
But Abbott’s government shot back, saying that the country needed to reduce the size of government and improve the economy.
“The coalition government acknowledges the role of renewable energy in Australia’s energy mix,” said Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. “There is over $1 billion in funding for existing renewable projects to be completed over the coming years.”
“Given the tight fiscal environment as a result of [liberal] Labor’s legacy of debt and deficit, the government considers there is a very significant investment in renewable energy,” MacFarlane added.
Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition won a landslide victory in Australia’s election last fall. One of the main promises of Abbott’s coalition was to repeal the country’s carbon tax and costly environmental agenda.
The Liberal-National’s plan to repeal the carbon tax are stuck in the Senate due to Labor and Green party members joining to block any attempt at repeal. Green and Labor party members have refused to back the carbon tax repeal until Abbott proposed an alternative plan to fight global warming.
“Tony Abbott should now abandon the so-called direct action plan, which is little more than a slogan,” Green leader Christine Milne said in a statement.
But Abbott shows no signs of slowing down in his quest to repeal the country’s environmental laws, which have slowed economic growth, including mining taxes, green energy funding and the carbon tax.
“The carbon tax is an act of economic vandalism,” Abbott said in March. “You can’t trust [Labor] anywhere near an economy.”
The liberals screwed up the economy so bad that Abbott's coalition won an historic landslide victory last year.
Abbott's "conservatism" is hardly comparable to the right in America. The two sides are not that far apart on most economic matters, and Abbott wouldn't dare touch most of the social safety net. But he's got the right idea about environmental policy and Australia should be applauded for showing some common sense.