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Carbon price agreement: historic first step towards a clean energy economy

The Australian Greens, the Labor government and the Independent MPs today announced an historic agreement on a climate action package that will put a $23 per tonne price on carbon pollution, as was first proposed by the Greens, support householders and invest billions of dollars in clean, renewable energy.

This package, which the Greens have helped shape, is the first vital step towards tackling the climate crisis and building a cleaner, healthier, more secure Australia for all of us.

Major steps forward on emissions reduction targets, support for renewable energy, energy efficiency and landscape carbon, closing coal-fired power plants, limiting the use of international offsets and a floor price mean that pollution cuts that were pushed into the distant future under the government's original plans will now be pulled forward into the next few years.

While a climate action package designed by the Greens would have been more ambitious straight away, what we have achieved is a firm foundation for the future. Where the Rudd government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme acted as a ceiling on action, constraining our efforts for decades to come, this carbon price package acts as a platform on which stronger action can be built in the years ahead.

The carbon price agreement:

  • Lifts Australia's 2050 emissions target to 80%, lays the foundations for science-based climate action in the coming years and supports the effort to reach an ambitious global climate agreement;
  • invests $10 billion in renewable energy, establishes ARENA, supports energy efficiency and starts planning for a 100% renewable energy future;
    • helps the most vulnerable Australians;
  • will begin to close coal-fired power stations and prevents the building of new commercial coal-fired power stations;
  • ensures that emission intensive industry compensation will be based on rigorous independent analysis as soon as possible;
  • limits the use of international offsets;
  • begins to shift transport onto a cleaner base;
  • makes voluntary action to cut emissions count; and
  • invests $1.7 billion in protecting biodiversity and supporting farmers.

 

The Greens put climate action back on the political agenda after a federal election campaign during which it was a low priority for both Labor and the Coalition. By establishing a Multi-Party Climate Change Committee to deliver a carbon price as a condition for Julia Gillard to continue as Prime Minister, and by negotiating strongly and in good faith, the Greens have delivered a truly transformative package for the Australian community, economy and climate.

With this first step agreed, the Greens will continue to campaign for the much stronger action we need to effectively and efficiently tackle the climate crisis.

More reading:

Full briefing paper

Media releases:

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