The Abbott government’s key election promise of scrapping the carbon tax looks set to pass the Senate after Clive Palmer, whose Palmer United Party will have three senators from July 1, announced he will support the move.
But Palmer, who was joined by Nobel Prize winner and former US vice-president Al Gore for his Parliament house media conference, named a price for his support, saying his Senators would move an amendment to introduce an emissions trading scheme, albeit with no value to begin with until the rest of world joins in the scheme.
“Climate change is a global problem and it must have a global solution,” Palmer said, adding that Australia “can set an example” and “fair framework”.
But his Senators will not support any change to the renewable energy target and will vote against the abolition of Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Climate Change Authority.
Palmer accused the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott of attempting to break an election promise and said he would not support it.
Al Gore hailed Clive Palmer for his position and “outstanding” statements, but said he was disappointed by the removal of the carbon tax, yet said he remained extremely hopeful that Australia was heading in the right direction.
“Australia is beginning to confront the climate crisis in a meaningful way,” he said.
Mr Gore pointed to President Obama’s plans for an emissions trading scheme, China trials in a cap and trade system and India’s push for renewable energy as positive signs for the future of the planet.
“All of these developments add up to the world moving to solve the climate crisis,” Gore said.
The former vice-president was in Australia to pass on his advocacy skills on climate change and subsequently met with Palmer to discuss the issue. His subsequent appearance at the MP’s announcement was a surprise.
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