Jan 10, 2014

It’s not all bad — five things to not hate about Direct Action

Yes, there is a lot wrong with the government's Direct Action climate change policy. But it's not all bad. Here's the way Direct Action might help create a sustainable energy future.


The Abbott government’s proposed design for the emission reduction fund (ERF) has a fatal flaw: it will only award contracts of five years’ duration. Indeed, by dumping emissions trading or a fixed price on carbon the government is making the task of achieving its 5% reduction target far harder than it need be.

But it’s worth highlighting some positive attributes of the proposed design outlined in the green paper. It’s possible the government may see sense and accept the need for abatement purchasing contracts of longer terms …

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

9 thoughts on “It’s not all bad — five things to not hate about Direct Action

  1. David Duncan

    This seems to rest particularly heavily on the notion that a Government that doesn’t really believe in the necessity of abatement will be prepared to withhold payment in the event that abatement is not verified.

    Of past efforts you fairly offer this criticism
    “The government could pretend it was doing great things for the environment and allocating lots of money to the problem when, in fact, nothing at all was happening.”

    I am not sure why you would credit this government with a change in practice in this regard, particularly as business as usual would ideal for many of its members and backers.

  2. grubbidok

    Ditto with DD above. Any potential benefits ride on the increasingly unlikely outcome that the government will actually have a tangible (and continuing) commitment to Direct Action in the first place.

  3. himi

    To be honest, this all sounds like some pretty desperate clutching at straws. Not only is it predicated on the assumption that this government cares enough to follow through on /any/ kind of climate change policy, it also seems to be confusing a green paper (that’s probably entirely the work of Hunt’s department) with the policy that will be implemented once it’s filtered through the realities of treasury (which is intimately involved in this, thanks to the money coming from consolidated revenue).

    In the end, this government will act on climate change the same way it’s acted on everything else: the way that ideology and/or its corporate bosses dictate.


  4. CML

    Agree with the comments above. It is depressing to read an article like this Tristan – making excuses for a ‘do nothing on climate change’ government.
    Let’s face it, they are as useless on this problem as they are on everything else they touch!

  5. Samidog

    Given the worrying tendency for Abbott’s promises to flutter away in the post-election breeze, I am not filled with confidence that they will stick to the commitments that you have outlined here.

  6. Hamis Hill

    The article might be directed to the wrong people.
    The conservatives behind “Direct Action” have their long established Manichaean monopoly on “hate”.
    Asking them not to hate, goes against their religious instincts.
    Progressives, by definition, are committed to Moving Australia Forward.
    Hate is unlikely to be the progressive reaction to “Direct Action”, rational doubt based upon the behaviour of the authors of “Direct Action”, who are proven to be untrustworthy, seeing as most of them pretend to be Christian and “good”.
    Not in their DNA.

  7. MsCuriosityK

    The ETS didn’t go through. The carbon pricing mechanism is fixed until July isn’t it?

  8. MsCuriosityK

    Can someone please explain the relevance of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation or is investment in renewables passé?

    Why is this ‘minor’ initiative constantly overlooked? <— serious question

  9. Steve777

    I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Direct Action’ didn’t see the light of day, except possibly as a slush fund. Why would the Abbott Government spend billions of dollars to fix a problem that they, their voter base, their media allies and their major financial backers don’t believe is happening? The cost of ‘Direct Action’ has been capped, so there is no hope of meeting the emission reduction target of a 5% cut by 2020.

    As for any commitments made by this Government, they are not worth the paper they may or may not be written on. I expect that the Abbott government will drop the emission reduction target in the same way that they have dropped their commitment to the education funding reforms.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details