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Tony Abbott released the Coalition’s new climate change policy yesterday, a $3.2 billion plan centering around an “Emissions Reduction Fund” that will allow businesses to sell emissions cuts they make to the government.

Kevin Rudd has already labelled the plan a “climate con job“, while Abbott has presented it to the nation in an op-ed for The Oz.

Meanwhile, the pundits in the Australian media have descended like vultures this morning to tear into it.

The Australian

Editorial, Abbott’s cautious alternative

In the short term, the Coalition’s policy offers a local approach that makes sense at a time when the global consensus on concerted action is missing.

Dennis Shanahan, Opposition scare campaign on ETS

Tony Abbott’s climate change political campaign is based on cost and Kevin Rudd’s is built on belief. The Leader of the Opposition has turned Coalition policy on its head and is going to run a scare campaign on rising costs for energy and food.

Lenore Taylor, Initiative is about votes, not carbon

Rudd might be proposing a great big tax. Abbott’s plan puts a great big hole in the budget.

Malcolm Farr, Abbott’s acid test is selling his policy

Voters want action on the issue, but they want a strategy they can understand. Labor purists might snigger at tree planting being centre stage but as a project it is more familiar than the intricacies of carbon trading.

The Age

Editorial, Abbott’s painless climate policy rings hollow

The opposition’s climate change policy, pitched as an alternative to Labor’s emissions trading scheme, is good politics but bad policy.

Michelle Grattan, Abbott simply looking to election

As Kevin Rudd keeps saying, not so long ago Abbott was talking of the argument as ”absolute crap”. So he is looking neither to the long term nor (realistically) to the possibility of producing a policy to do more than the bare minimum 5 per cent cut in emissions by 2020.

Adam Morton, Coalition foggy on tackling emissions

This is smoke and mirrors stuff. Some of what the opposition proposes makes sense … But cash hand-outs are the side dish in a coherent climate policy, not the full meal.

Sydney Morning Herald

Ben Cubby, Coalition paints itself into a corner

Tony Abbott’s climate policy is little more than a shield designed to protect Australia’s coal, aluminium and cement industries from change.

Peter Hartcher, Leader needs to be careful that the fig leaf doesn’t blow away

Abbott produced a climate change policy to give him some green colouring, but it’s designed to cover his policy nakedness rather than decisively cut Australian greenhouse gas emissions.

The West Australian

Andrew Probyn, Liberals’ ‘direct action’ policy is suspect

There’s no stick there, nor is there much carrot for heavy polluters to change their ways.

Elsewhere

Alan Kohler, Business Spectator, Abbott’s great big axe

Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt have actually come up with a clever climate change policy, and certainly one that will change the debate in Australia.

Ben Eltham, New Matilda, Have the Libs lost faith in the market?

At the heart of the Coalition’s long awaited climate change policy is a belief that polluting the atmosphere should be free of charge

Peter Fray

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Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

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