Sticking with the emissions reduction requirements of the Paris climate agreement will impose “significant and irreparable economic damage without delivering an environmental dividend”, something the Conservative Party has been saying from day one.
A study by the Institute of Public Affairs, “Why Australia must exit the Paris Climate Agreement”, estimates our Paris target of reducing emissions to 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 will impose a $52 billion economic cost between now and 2030, equating to $8,566 a family.
It says the agreement is not operating as intended, citing the withdrawal of the world’s second-largest emitter, the US, and unconstrained emissions from the world’s largest emitter, China.
Then prime minister Tony Abbott signed Australia up to the Paris Agreement in 2015. He has since called for Australia to withdraw from Paris, saying last month that: “This idea that we are bound forever to aspirational targets when the circumstances have dramatically changed is frankly just lunacy.”.
The 26 per cent emissions target is integral to Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s national energy guarantee, for which he will seek support at tomorrow’s Coalition partyroom meeting.
Report author and IPA research fellow Daniel Wild said lower emissions would result in higher energy prices. “The time to exit the (Paris) agreement is now,” he said. “The government must put lower prices and improved reliability ahead of emissions reductions.”
“The NEG and the Paris agreement will lead to higher electricity prices. This will damage business investment, jobs growth and wages growth, and put upward pressure on everyday goods and services.”
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told Sky News Australia should immediately withdraw from the Paris agreement, cut all subsidies for electricity providers and adopt a common sense approach to providing Australians with electricity.