PM Abbott's protection racket can't save dirty coal
China's new coal import rules make it clear Australia is becoming a rust-bucket economy under the Abbott government, said Greens Leader Christine Milne.
"There's China moving to cut pollution while in Australia we have a policy vacuum and a Prime Minister who wants our economy to be reliant on exporting coal pollution to the world," said Senator Milne.
"Tony Abbott is putting his hands over his ears and refusing to hear the loud message that investing in coal, and building coal ports and railways, will lead to stranded assets and is jeopardising our future prosperity.
"The simple truth is that Australia is being left behind, not by accident or negligence, but by design. Tony Abbott is clinging desperately to the old formula while the world changes around him.
"It is an absolute disgrace that Tony Abbott will not attend Ban Ki Moon's climate summit in New York next week, despite being in town the very next day.
"Julie Bishop will want to hide at the back of the room, representing a government that's the world leader in going backwards on climate policy. Australia's 5% pollution reduction target is ethically and morally repugnant.
"It is so clear that Australia's greatest opportunities for jobs, investment and energy security are in solar and wind, especially as other countries steer away from dirty coal," said Senator Milne.
"Tony Abbott is so intent on protecting his mates in the polluting fossil fuel sector that he's doing everything he can to open up new coal mines in the Galilee and Bowen basins and prop up coal fired power stations whilst undermining renewables.
"Abolishing the carbon price, gutting the funding of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and attacking the Renewable Energy Target are huge opportunity costs to Australia."
Tomorrow Senator Milne will deliver a major speech to the National Press Club on the future of climate policy in Australia.