It came as no surprise that the Labor government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) was defeated for the second time in the Senate. Under the new coalition rule of Tony Abbott, only two liberal senators crossed the floor and voted with their opposition for the ETS legislation - they were Senators Sue Boyce and Judith Troeth. At 33 votes for to 41 against, their votes were not enough to pass the bill.
Senator Penny Wong says she will not abandon action or be intimidated by the scare campaign of Abbott. The legislation will be reintroduced in February 2010.
Senator Wong and the Prime Minister now head off to Copenhagen without a scheme in place.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Matthew Warren said the defeat of the CPRS was a lost chance to start the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“The amended CPRS was not perfect, but it was a start. Decarbonising the Australian economy is the single biggest policy transformation in modern history. Delay does not help reduce emissions, nor does it help business invest,” he said.
“If you continue to wait for the next computer model because it’s a bit better than the current one, you’ll never throw out your old typewriter.
“The defeat of this CPRS means we could now be two years behind where we need to be in our efforts to combat dangerous climate change, and in the meantime we will learn nothing.
“Until the scheme is finalised, businesses will continue to focus on minimising their commercial risk and negotiating for additional concessions. When a scheme is in place, they will concentrate on investments to increase their competitive advantage in a carbon-constrained economy.”
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