Former PM Tony Abbott is among a selection of conservative Coalition MPs speaking out against Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to let power companies buy foreign permits to meet emissions targets, according to a report in The Australian this week.
Abbott has reportedly lashed out against the man who usurped him in 2015, alleging the in-principle plan is simply a poorly-disguised carbon tax.
The reaction stems from the Government’s end-of-2017 review of its climate policies, in which energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg discussed allowing companies to buy carbon permits from foreign markets for inclusion in their domestic emissions figures.
“As flagged in 2015, the review considered the role of international units and as a result the government has now given in-principle support for their use,” Frydenberg wrote.
“The final decision on the timing and appropriate quantity and quality limits will be taken by 2020 following further consultation and detailed analysis.”
Abbott has, according to The Australian, said he is as strongly against this policy as he was against the carbon tax during his time as prime minister, saying a policy of allowing the purchase of foreign tax credits would be open for rorts.
“I don’t support carbon trading, which is a carbon tax under a different name, and I certainly don’t support overseas carbon credits being available to Australian businesses,” Abbott was quoted as saying.
“That just means that Aussie customers end up shovelling our money to foreign carbon traders, and we all know the potential for rorts there.”
Frydenberg, also quoted by The Australian, reportedly dismissed Abbott’s complaints.
“Since [Abbott’s leadership ended in 2015], we have conducted a major climate review in which industry groups representing energy intensive businesses across the economy including the BCA, AiG and in the Minerals Council have made it very clear they strongly support the use of international permits,” Frydenberg was quoted.
“It is worth noting that Mr Abbott’s position on international permits is closer to the Greens than that of Australia’s big employers.”