Bad News for Climate Change in the First Budget of Australia’s Abbott Government

In what is being called the “Backwards Budget” delivered on May 13, the government of Australia continues to dismantle the existing national agencies related to a low-carbon economy. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) joins the previously announced Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation on the chopping block. Funding for the Emissions Reduction Fund is now muddy, and the 3-year old carbon pricing system will be abolished, if government proposals are approved by the Senate in July. See the positions of Australia’s Climate Institute at: http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/, Australia’s coal miners’ union (CFMEU) at: http://cfmeu.com.au/campaigns/national/climate-change or blogs by Alexander White from The Guardian: “Australia’s Extreme Budget Meets Extreme Climate” (May 21) at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/may/21/may-heatwave-budget-2014-abbott-renewable-energy-cuts and “Could Australia Really Dismantle its Carbon Price” (May 26) at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/may/26/carbon-price-abolish-tony-abbott-australia.

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