Sept. 14 — Australia's climate-skeptic Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted Sept. 14 as leader of the ruling Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull, a vocal advocate of strong action on climate change.
Prime Minister-designate Turnbull won a party room ballot for the leadership, 54–44.
The new leadership could prompt changes to Australia's policy on climate change, although Turnbull was careful to downplay the prospect of a dramatic shift at a news conference at Parliament House after the vote.
The government's existing Direct Action climate change policy “is one that I support,” Turnbull said.
He noted that government policies, however, generally are “reviewed and adapted all the time.”
Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop, who is Australia's foreign minister, said during a media conference that there would be no change to the 2030 emissions targets that Australia would take to United Nations climate talks in Paris at the end of the year.
In August, Australia committed to cut emissions 26 percent to 28 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
The Direct Action plan was the Abbott government's alternative to a carbon tax, which it discontinued in 2014. Direct Action is meant to give financial incentives to major emitters to cut emissions.
Turnbull's statement of support for the government's Direct Action program leaves room for potentially significant changes in how the policy is applied.
For example, under Abbott, the government refused to countenance any reliance on international carbon units in the immediate future to help meet emissions targets, but the Direct Action legislation allows their use.
Turnbull's elevation to the leadership also could prompt adjustments to the “safeguard mechanism” rules that are being finalized and will apply emission limits to very large emitters.
Under Abbott's leadership, the Liberal-National Party government axed the carbon pricing scheme that was introduced by the former Labor government and weakened the national target for generating electricity from renewables. It also sought to abolish the independent Climate Change Authority, which was established to advise on emissions targets and policy, and Australia's green bank, known as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Its attempts to dissolve the two bodies were stymied by the Senate, however.
The Abbott-led government had languished in voter polls for months on end. The successful Sept. 14 challenge by Turnbull followed an unsuccessful attempt in February.
In December 2009, Abbott challenged Turnbull—then the leader of the Liberal Party—and was victorious by one vote.
Soon after he was dumped as leader in 2009, Turnbull criticized Abbott for rejecting climate change science.
“The fact is that Tony and the people who put him in his job do not want to do anything about climate change,” Turnbull said in a 2009 blog post written days after his defeat.
To contact the reporter on this story: Murray Griffin in Melbourne at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)