Tony Abbott delivered the Bob Carter Commemorative Lecture last night - he's spot on about our energy supplies
I've been watching ABC News this morning - one of their lead stories is "Tony Abbott says Australia should withdraw from Paris climate agreement - just 3 years after his own government signed up to it!"
The ABC does itself and us a terrible disservice with a report like that.
Tony Abbott gave a considered, well researched and important speech last night in which he spoke - amongst many other things - of the Paris climate deal. He gave sound reasons for withdrawing, pointing out the changed circumstances since he was rolled.
But none of that at the ABC, just guffaws about a backflip.
Tony Abbott gave a considered and useful speech about energy last night.
He spoke about four big developments since his time as PM.
- Electricity and gas prices shot up
- blackouts have become more common
- subsidies for wind etc is driving coal out of the generation market
- And fourth, the biggest change, America has withdrawn from the Paris agreement.
When the world’s leading country withdraws, it can hardly be business as usual. Our 2015 target, after all, was set on the basis that the agreement would be “applicable to all…parties”. Absent America, my government would not have signed up to the Paris treaty, certainly not with the current target.
I certainly didn’t anticipate, as prime minister, how the aspirational targets we agreed to at Paris would, in different hands, become binding commitments.
If we surrender our main comparative economic advantage, cheap power, in what turns out to be a mere gesture because total emissions keep increasing and other countries have either made no commitments to cuts or don’t keep them – future generations will judge this one very harshly indeed.
If the country with the world’s largest readily available reserves of coal, gas and uranium continues to inflict on itself some of the world’s highest power prices, future generations will surely shake their heads in perplexity at such deliberate self-harm.
Tony is spot on about Malcolm Turnbull's approach:
If you read the National Energy Guarantee documentation, there’s a few lines about lower prices, a few pages about maintaining supply, and page after impenetrable page about reducing emissions.
You can read the whole speech here - I'd recommend it to you, it's an important document.
Meanwhile, coal is again Australia's number one export earner.