The Federal Budget, handed down yesterday by Treasurer Wayne Swan, contains no significant climate change initiatives, and reduces funding for several existing programs such as the water tank and greywater system rebates, water recycling and stormwater harvesting programs, Landcare and the Natural Heritage Trust.
The much reported $652 million for renewable energy represents a tiny proportion of Australia’s electricity consumption. This is so low as to be almost insignificant and pales in comparison with the call by over 40 organisations, including YCAN, for renewable energy funding at least as high as the national broadband network of $22 to $42 billion.
Funding for the fossil fuel industry is still higher under this budget than funding for renewable energy.
Below is a press release from the Victorian Climate Action Centre with some further information.
Kevin Rudd’s back flip on climate has not been addressed by Wayne Swan’s Budget, the Climate Action Centre said today.
“Australian’s angry and disappointed by Kevin Rudd’s recent back flip on climate change will not be mollified by this Budget,” said Damien Lawson, coordinator, Climate Action Centre.
“Labor has again failed to take an opportunity to make polluters accountable by putting a price on carbon and cutting subsidies to the coal industry.”
“While there is some new money for energy efficiency and renewable energy in the Budget, it is only $652.5 million over four years, well short of what is needed.”
“The money does not really start to flow until 2012 and there is little detail on how it will be spent.”
“And there is still more money in the Budget for the fossil industry than for climate change, in fact those chasing the clean coal pipe dream still get about as much as the renewable energy sector.”
“Elsewhere the government has slashed $200 million from its Green Car Fund, and failed to put any money into the electric vehicle revolution this country needs.”
“There is no vision for a zero carbon economy in this Budget just more of the same quarry vision that we had under the Howard government.”
“The public will see through this attempt to green wash the Labor government after a hit in the polls because of its climate back flips.”