Turnbull’s climate policy: hot air and coal exports

After the photo opportunities and the feel good politics of rubbing shoulders with world leaders at the Paris climate conference, the Turnbull government’s climate policy is playing out in reality.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has approved the dredging and dumping of spoil on land to make way for the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal in north Queensland and the shipment of coal from Queensland’s vast Galilee Basin.

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If Australia is going to meet its woefully inadequate carbon emission targets, it has to start somewhere. And that somewhere isn’t Direct Action.

While Australia is one of the highest per capita emitters in the world in its own right, it also contributes significantly to the emission of its coal trading partners.

Refusing to approve what will be the world’s largest coal terminal would have sent a very clear message about the The government’s intentions  on climate change.

Unfortunately, approving it also sends a strong message. Minister Not-for-the Environment Greg Hunt has shredded the remaining tatters of Australia’s global climate change credentials with this decision.

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His greatest achievement to date is repealing the carbon tax. Strangely, that now doesn’t seem to have been such a great idea.

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