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Senate blocks repeal

Green Lifestyle

Why the first three days of the new Australian Senate culminated in a block of the repeal of the carbon price in the Clean Energy Future Act.

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The attempt to axe a price on pollution through a repeal of Clean Energy Future Act through the senate has failed this week.

“While the government is likely to try again as soon as next week, this reprieve represents a genuine opportunity for our Senators to take their time and consider their vote," said Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) today.

In taking a considered look at the statistics, the current pricing scheme is working. Plus, the latest Morgan poll shows around nine in ten Australians want pollution levels cut.

The Climate Institute released a report that over the last two years, emissions from energy consumption in Australia have fallen by 5.3 million tonnes – and they claim that this is largely due to government measures.

Further, in the last year, renewable energy has grown by 37 per cent, with two million houses now having some form of solar power.

A further increase in renewable energies will help to reduce power prices. This flow-on effect is obvious, as after the upfront fee of creating solar farms or wind farms, the energy then becomes effectively free.

Australia has the largest per capita emissions of greenhouse gases in the world, so globally, our economy is also set to reap the biggest benefits from emissions trading. Other countries are implementing schemes, and Australia is the only country to consider recalling such a scheme back.

Abbott's 'direct action' policy proposes a five per cent decrease in carbon emissions, however expert economists around the globe have criticised this policy as being worthless as there's no mechanism to encourage the achievement of this target.

Today, Clive Palmer, from the Palmer United Party (PUP) refused to support the Abbott government's repeal for the third time, stating that Australian families still need a power price savings guarantee. Palmer is expected to introduce his amendment next Monday.

Environment groups are calling on PUP senators, as well as Senators Muir, Xenophon, Day, Madigan and Leyonhjelm, to reflect on the fact that under the carbon price, Australia’s electricity pollution has fallen by ten per cent.

O’Shanassy agrees; “Our price on pollution is working; in fact it is working spectacularly well, and we hope that with the time they now have, our representatives in Parliament think deeply about why they would scrap a working law.”

The fresh new senate began this week, and has played host to some very heated discussions over the last three days, including a speech where Senator Penny Wong got quite aggressive about the so-called 'guillotine laws' that would avoid debate happening in the lower house.

Currently, there is still rigorous debate in the senate to abolish the Climate Change Authority. To listen in live, click here: www.parlview.aph.gov.au/browse.php