The impetus for the carbon price legislation has been provided by many over a long period. There have been several "Walk against warming" events over the last decade which demonstrated public support for real action on climate change.
The Australian Climate Action Summit in 2009 called for Labor's fatally compromised CPRS to be ditched, and for investment to be directed towards 100% renewable energy. Both these objectives have now been met:
- The Greens opposed the CRPS and it was voted down.
- The Clean Energy Future package that has just been voted for is greatly superior to it, and includes significant funds for investing in clean energy.
Pretty much all the innovations in the package are Greens ideas, the fundamental one being targets recommended by the Climate Change Authority and the big renewables funds with independent boards determining how the money should be spent. And the expanded Productivity Commission role in immediately reviewing compensation to emissions intensive trade-exposed industries. And the Australian Energy Market Operator will include scenario planning for 100% renewable energy. Four key advisers - Milne policy adviser Oliver Woldring, Bandt spinner Damien Lawson, powerful Bob Brown chief-of-staff Ben Oquist and Milne media adviser Tim Hollo - were at the centre of the negotiations.
This would not have happened but for the people in Melbourne who voted Green for Adam Bandt and for the Greens in the Senate in 2010.
And this would not have happened without broad public support and a long history of community pressure to steer us away from a fossil fuel-addicted economy towards a clean green renewable energy-based economy. So lets celebrate!
But this is only one step. The next one should be to immediately protect Australia's native forests from logging and allow them to restore their carbon stocks. This alone could reduce Australia’s emissions by 5%.
The benefits of a minority government will be further demonstrated when Labor's ridiculous, inhumane and very expensive legislation for offshore processing of asylum seekers will be voted down later this week.
- Gillard, Rudd celebrate as carbon bills pass - ABC News