Labor politicians were drunk on climate change policy and Australians would have to deal with the hangover, Opposition energy spokesman Ted O’Brien has said.
O’Brien slammed the deal between the government and the Greens, announced yesterday, to cap the emissions of Australia’s biggest polluters.
The policy would force Australia’s largest carbon emitters to cut their emissions by 5 per cent every year between now and 2030.
O’Brien said the Safeguard Mechanism would raise energy prices, effectively acting as a carbon tax by stealth.
“Labor and the Greens are drunk with joy having done a deal,” he told Sky News. “But it's going to be the Australian people that will cope with the hangover of this.
“Everybody knows two things about the energy market – one, energy prices are going up, and two, there's a shortage of supply in gas.
“This deal makes prices go up even further and constrains the supply of gas even further.”
O’Brien said it was incredible that the government was celebrating an arrangement that had such obviously dire consequences for the economy.
“Prices will go up, investment will go down and emissions will be sent offshore and multiplied, the Australian people lose out of this and so does industry,” he said.
He warned that Labor’s plan was “not to decarbonise the Australian economy but rather a plan to deindustrialise it”.
Meanwhile, Greens treasury spokesperson Nick McKim slammed the government despite doing a deal with his party to cut emissions.
"We have been in negotiations with the corrupt, ecocidal government of a petro-state that was prepared to hold a gun to the head of future generations by threatening to blow up climate action unless they could continue to approve massive new coal and gas projects," he tweeted on the night the deal was announced.
"For anyone who thinks the climate wars are over, think again. They have barely begun."