Last night, Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt appeared on 7.30 and was interviewed by Leigh Sales who demonstrated yet again that she doesn’t have the intellectual grunt to take on even lightweights like the Minister for the Environment.
What was more important was the nature of the announcements that the Minister made.
He announced that emissions reduction contracts worth $660.4m for businesses to prevent 47m tonnes of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere, had been granted in the first round of auctions under its Direct Action climate policy.
The deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute, Erwin Jackson, said a quarter of the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund had been spent to secure just 15% of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions needed for Australia to meet its target of a 5% cut by 2020, based on 2000 levels.
Any reasonably numerate primary school child would tell you that this is not value for money.
Yet, Hunt said the auctions produced a “stunning outcome” which exceeded expectations. But the Climate Institute has said the first auctions showed the policy would fall well short of meeting even Australia’s “woefully inadequate” emissions reduction target.
In addition, many of the projects that were funded had been funded by the previous Labor government under the Carbon Tax that Hunt maintained (incorrectly) had failed to reduce emissions.
There’s more to come.
The average time for these projects is seven years, some of them will run for a decade. Yet, Hunt maintained that the reductions of these projects would go towards meeting the 2020 goal of 5%.
If the average for these projects is seven years, this means that half of them will still be running after 2022. Well past the target date of 2020.
Throughout the interview, his entire rhetoric was that of the achievement of these goals was a fait accompli. No hint that some might not reach their targets.
And not once did he have the decency to acknowledge the total inadequacy of the 5% target.