The Howard Policy Agenda 1996 to 2006
Over the last 10 years the Howard government has repeatedly pushed climate change policy in the wrong direction. The economics of climate change are straight forward, we need to charge polluters for their emissions and give people and companies incentives to increase efficiency. The politics of climate change, however, has encouraged the Howard Government to spend billions of dollars pushing the economy in the wrong direction. The biggest mistakes of the last decade are:
Perverse policy measure
Abolishing the indexation of fuel excise in 2001
$1.309 billion in 2005-06
Continuation of the diesel fuel rebate.
$2.572 billion in 2005-06
FBT tax concessions for company cars
$1,140 billion in 2005-06.
Reversal of the decision to introduce a heavy vehicle road user charge for road freight.
$1,210 billion in 2005-06
Supporting old growth logging and land clearing.
$50 -110 million (estimate)
Scrapping the world leading Australian Centre for Renewable Energy at the UNSW and replacing it with the Centre for Clean Coal at the University of Newcastle
Refusing to introduce mandatory fuel efficiency targets for fleet vehicles
Refusing to extend the highly effective Mandatory Renewable Energy Target scheme.
Introducing a 10 per cent tax on public transport.
Refusing to ratify the Kyoto protocol.
"Fixing climate change should save the government money, not cost the Government money. The Government is spending more than $5 billion dollars per year making climate change worse, but if they were to put a price on carbon they would simultaneously raise revenue and reduce pollution," said Senator Brown.
"The Stern Report concluded that the world needs to spend around one percent of total production to address climate change. The $5 billion Australia is wasting on a few poorly targeted measures accounts for around 0.5% of Australia's GDP. If we charged the polluters for their greenhouse gas emissions and directed that $5 billion towards new investment Australia would be half way there," concluded Senator Brown.