Advertisement

Australia reins in climate change plan over lack of support

By Sommer Brokaw
The Australian government said Monday it has scaled back climate change controls that had been set for 2030. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he made the change because there isn't enough support to pass it. File Photo by Ryan Tong/EPA-EFE
The Australian government said Monday it has scaled back climate change controls that had been set for 2030. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he made the change because there isn't enough support to pass it. File Photo by Ryan Tong/EPA-EFE

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- In a surprise move Monday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government will back down from plans to reduce climate change goals set out in the nation's energy plan.

The announcement means Turnbull's energy proposal -- the National Energy Guarantee, which is focused on sustainability and lowering energy prices -- will go forward without regulations for a 26 percent cut to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Advertisement

The change doesn't withdraw commitment to the United Nations climate change talks, but it delays indefinitely an attempt to legislate the 26 percent target until it has majority support.

Turnbull said he wouldn't push for the climate change target now simply because it wouldn't pass.

"In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver," Turnbull said.

The change follows a revolt by conservative members of parliament against Turnbull's energy policy, and some Liberals have threatened to cross the party line. It also comes at a time Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been asked to challenge the prime minister for the party's leadership.

"The Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the Government," Dutton said Friday.

Advertisement

When asked about speculation of leadership challenge, Turnbull said, "I enjoy the confidence of the cabinet and my party room."

Absent the climate change targets, Turnbull's energy policy will still work toward keeping electricity prices down by capping default prices and increasing financial penalties for the three largest energy suppliers, AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement