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Abbott turns volume up on Paris accord

Abbott turns volume up on Paris accord

Old Tin-Ear Turnbull must be hoping that Tony Abbott would ride his bike too close to the edge of the earth and disappear, to be gone forever. Not likely! Abbott is still there sticking pins through the brain of his Turnbull voodoo doll as he twists the volume dial on the Paris Accord and coal-fired, base load power generators. Malcolm could send his animated marionette deputy dog McCormack to pull Abbott’s fuse but the silly bugger couldn’t find the big fuse box on the wall marked “FUSE BOX!”

The Nationals are demanding the construction of “a minimum of three” baseload power stations as the price of their support for Malcolm Turnbull’s national energy guarantee, as Tony Abbott last night called on the government to abandon the Paris climate agreement.

Source: News Corp

Tony Abbott calls for Australia to pull out of Paris climate deal

Delivering a lecture to the Australian Environment Foundation — a climate sceptic think tank — in Melbourne last night, the former prime minister argued that abandoning the Paris targets would help “save” the Liberal Party and protect its legacy over the next 10 years.

He defended his criticism of the energy guarantee as well as his push to build new coal-fired power stations by advocating for a profound overhaul of climate policy that would see Australia follow the lead set by Donald Trump.

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement that is driving the ­national energy guarantee would be the best way to keep prices down and employment up, and to save our party from a political ­legacy that could haunt us for the next decade at least,” Mr Abbott said.

The comments add to pressure over the national energy guarantee as the Nationals push their own separate agenda.

A two-page list of demands aimed at combating the threat of sovereign risk for potential investors in new baseload power generators, including coal-fired stations, is being promoted by the Nationals as a “genuine and serious policy position” to supplement the Prime Minister’s signature energy policy.

The confidential working document — obtained by The Australian — sets out the position of the minor Coalition party and advocates for the creation of a $5 billion fund to “ensure (a) reliable energy mix is delivered to Australian electricity users in the short, medium and long term”.

Only coal, gas or traditional hydro projects capable of delivering electricity “24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions” would be ­eligible for assistance under the proposal.

Operating under a ­“government-owned company model”, the suggested fund would keep any new power stations off budget, like the approach taken with the western Sydney airport and ­inland rail projects.

Recasting the already divisive energy debate as a struggle for the soul of the Liberal Party, Mr ­Abbott said that it took “character to do what’s right” as well as “courage to disagree with your peers”.

“Far from ‘wrecking the government’, MPs worried about ­energy policy are trying to save it with a policy that would be different from Labor’s,” he said.

Mr Abbott also canvassed ­unwinding Australia’s emissions targets or abandoning them to “whatever would actually be achieved in 2030 through normal business cost-cutting and efficiencies, plus whatever is delivered through the emissions reduction fund”.

The Nationals are keen to ­ensure their push to supplement the energy guarantee is not linked to Mr Abbott’s alternative conservative agenda or the leadership as they seek to maximise their chances of Mr Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg agreeing to their key demands.

The Australian can reveal that the $5bn fund proposed by the ­Nationals would be broken into two key components: a “grant fund” as well as an “equity fund”. It would sit within the infrastructure portfolio held by Nationals leader Michael McCormack.

The grant fund would be used to “extend the life of existing plants or increase capacity, ­including emission reduction improvements … and rapid capacity improvements such as installing new units at existing stations”.

However, grants would not be awarded for standard or planned maintenance to existing stations.

The equity fund is aimed at the delivery of at least three new baseload power stations with a minimum capacity of 1200 megawatts according to a set of strict criteria, including a cost-benefit analysis against other projects to be conducted by the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency.

Both funds would work in consultation with the Energy Security Board, which would provide guidance on how assistance from the two funds should be allocated.

Factors that would need to be considered for the finance of projects would include emissions ­reduction, “completion time and delivery to market” as well as the “availability of transmission ­capacity or the potential to deliver capacity in the short term”.

Projects would also need to be located in an “area of forecast need”.

Queensland LNP MP George Christensen told The Australian he would not support the national ­energy guarantee unless it included measures to drive more investment into baseload power generators.

“I can’t support anything that doesn’t have an incentive built into it for baseload power,” Mr Christensen said.

“Whether that’s grants, whether it’s direct investment or government equity in projects — all of the above should be ­considered”.

Queensland LNP senator Barry O’Sullivan said he would not comment on “any resolutions of the partyroom” but said he was a very strong advocate for new clean coal-fired power generators.

“They provide security of supply. They will put downward pressure on the cost of energy in the marketplace and the modern technologies that are used in the development of these power stations will also make a great contribution to the reduction in carbon emissions,” Senator O’Sullivan said.

Mr Frydenberg said almost 4.3 million households in Queensland, NSW and South Australia had benefited from lower retail electricity prices following the Turnbull government’s intervention in the gas market last year. “Further power price relief is on the way,” Mr Frydenberg said. “The ­national energy guarantee, in conjunction with existing policies, has been forecast to reduce household electricity bills by $400, according to the independent Energy Security Board.”

The Turnbull government yesterday took full ownership of Snowy Hydro Limited at a cost of more than $6bn, which NSW and Victoria will spend on infrastructure projects.

Mr Abbott yesterday linked his push to abandon the Paris Agreement to dissatisfaction with the ­national energy guarantee, arguing the policy would be greatly ­improved if it contained a “price target as well as an emissions-­reduction target”.

The speech will embolden other Coalition MPs to speak out against the Paris targets, which commit Australia to reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 04/07/2018, 6:15 am

    It seems like common sense may be ramping up in government, one can only hope this trend continues.

    • DT 04/07/2018, 6:56 am

      Former Treasurer Peter Costello commented that Malcolm Turnbull had asked him for his endorsement to become Opposition Leader after the Howard Government lost office in 2007.

      Costello declined the request and said that he was concerned that as leader Turnbull would wreck the Liberal Party.

      He was right.

    • Popular Front 04/07/2018, 7:04 am

      Only if they depose that egomaniac Turnbull and demote his buttkissers to the back bench.

  • DT 04/07/2018, 7:00 am

    Adopt the National Party power plant proposal, cut immigration by at least 50 per cent and tighten the requirements for eligibility, abandon the Paris Agreement and stop dancing the tunes of UN organisations and allowing them to dictate on our internal affairs.

    And stop gifting the UN organisations with monies our nation has to borrow and carry the interest liability for.

    • Honeybadger 04/07/2018, 8:09 am

      Sounds good to me. I would add, make that islamic immigration.

      • angry 04/07/2018, 9:23 am

        Exactly!
        No more towel head savages.

  • Cliff 04/07/2018, 7:04 am

    What a pity it seems impossible to include the nuclear option in this debate. This government seems quite comfortable paying more than minimum price for many other supposedly vital national projects, (the Diesel – ##### DIESEL!!!! – submarines for example), so surely there is an argument for an initially more expensive nuclear option if that option will provide a carbon-neutral, reliable base load.

    They have an excuse to slip a small nuclear plant ‘past the keeper’ to speak with the need for reliable power for the submarines and frigates contracts in ‘green’ South Australia. Put one onto Commonwealth land in SA – (RAAF Base Edinburgh comes immediately to mind) – bypassing all – or at least most – environmental restrictions by stating – truthfully – that it is a vital national requirement.

    The South Koreans make such plants. And I understand they are considerably cheaper than the French and US options.

    • DT 04/07/2018, 7:31 am

      Recently I was surprised to find out that our government and opposition have agreed that there will be no nuclear energy used in Australia.

      The Lucas Heights Sydney nuclear reactor that produces radio isotopes, and has done very safely since the 1950s, was going to be forced to shut down but common sense prevailed and the politicians did not go that far.

      Another example of why Australian voters are now “Mushrooms”.

      • DT 04/07/2018, 7:34 am

        This might explain why nuclear submarines converted to conventional diesel electric have been ordered from France?

        And, according to a report around the order placement time, with the option to buy some of the submarines at the end of the contract supply period with nuclear power. In other words a change of the nuclear ban conditions possible?

  • Aktosplatz 04/07/2018, 8:17 am

    Pleased to see the Nationals are speaking up at long last, something that Barnaby was supposed to have done after the 2016 election.

  • Joe Blogs 04/07/2018, 10:00 am

    Trump’s turned that abomination into the Paris Discord – and so should this stupid fkn joint.

  • Graham 04/07/2018, 2:05 pm

    It is interesting to note that the ‘Guarantee’ is not a guarantee by the government but a guarantee forced onto retailers and users. Now call me old fashioned but I think that the government should guaranteeing reliability and emissions to comply with any daft UN agreement they have signed up to and to provide the public with energy security and reliability at the lowest cost. To me it smacks of an admission that the government(s) has failed completely over this.

  • Clarion Call 04/07/2018, 2:43 pm

    Trumble’s word of ‘guarantee’ is code for: “guaranteed not to be implemented as guaranteed’. In fact, his personal translation is different to everyone else’s
    everyday version/meaning. Trumbletalk has a life of its own. Even language experts have been called in to decipher context and meaning from Malgrumble’s speeches. Can we survive another twelve months?

  • TommyGun 04/07/2018, 2:53 pm

    Good God!
    A politician has finally had the guts to call out the Paris Accord for what it is: a disaster.
    And we shouldn’t be part of it anymore. Trump saw that. Blind Freddy could see that.
    Only Turnbull and his UN sycophants can’t see it.

    • Graham Richards 04/07/2018, 10:21 pm

      We have power generators having to purchase “certificates” which is obviously the carbon tax in action!
      Our petrol prices are at $1.60 + while the crude oil price is at $+-68.00 / barrel.
      Some years ago when oil was around $100.00 / barrel petrol didn’t even get anywhere near $1.60/litre. WHY the difference, why is the price skyrocketing like electricity. I smell that carbon tax by stealth at work, courtesy of Turnbull.
      Are the oil companies being forced into the purchase of “certificates” as well for the carbon tax by stealth scheme. Someone must have a lead on this. A simple yes or no from a trustworthy source would be good to hear. If it’s the certificates scam at work the public need to know before any election comes around!

      • TommyGun 05/07/2018, 6:49 am

        Exactly, GR.
        I recall it was about 2008 or 2009 when oil hit the record of US$147/barrel.
        I was living in Russia at the time and of course they were making hay while the sun shone. But petrol in Australia was nowhere near as dear as it is now. with crude oil at half the price, FFS!
        Somebody needs to unravel this deceit and explain it to the people so they can take a baseball bat to the appropriate party come election time.

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