31 March 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will reduce pollution, invest in renewable energy and take real action on climate change – to ensure we hand on a better deal to the next generation.

After six years of chaos, uncertainty and rising pollution under the Liberals, Australians need stability and certainty on climate change policy – that’s what our plan delivers.
Ignoring climate change is simply not an answer.
Australia needs leadership - to protect jobs, grow the economy, cut pollution and deal with more extreme weather like droughts and floods, with natural disasters already costing the economy $18 billion a year.
At the same time, Australian households are seeing their power bills soar - families and businesses are taking this into their own hands and backing renewable energy because they know more renewables means lower power prices.
Labor is committed to reducing Australia’s pollution by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero pollution by 2050.
We are also committed to 50 per cent renewable energy in our electricity mix by 2030.
Labor’s plan will tackle climate change to keep the economy growing by:

  • Investing in renewable energy and batteries to grow jobs and cut power bills  With almost two million Australian households having solar panels, Australians are enthusiastic adopters of renewables. Labor will empower Australians to take advantage of cheaper, clean renewable energy and storage, by offering $2000 rebates for solar batteries for 100,000 households, with a target of 1,000,000 batteries by 2025. We will also double the original investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation by $10 billion, supporting new generation and storage across the country. Labor’s investment will support our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030 for the nation’s electricity generation, which will see cleaner and cheaper power and more than 70,000 new jobs.


  • Boosting clean transport and infrastructure– A key part of tackling pollution will be tackling transport emissions - which make up almost 20 per cent of Australia’s emissions and one of the fastest growing sources of pollution. Labor will implement Australia’s first national electric vehicle policy, setting a national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent new car sales by 2030 and introducing vehicle emissions standards to reduce pollution and make the cost of driving a car cheaper for consumers. 


  • Working in partnership with business to help bring down pollution – Labor will reduce pollution by big polluters over the decade by extending the existing pollution cap implemented by Malcolm Turnbull – the safeguard mechanism. Australia’s biggest industrial polluters (about 250 – or just 0.01 per cent of all businesses) will be covered by Labor’s scheme, which will not include the agricultural sector. Pollution caps will be reduced over time and Labor will make it easier for businesses to meet these caps by allowing for industrial and international offsets. Facilities can also earn credits and make money from reducing pollution below their baselines. Labor will not introduce a carbon tax or new a carbon pricing mechanism and our reforms will not raise any government revenue.


  • Supporting trade exposed industries to keep Australian businesses competitive – Emission intensive trade exposed industries (EITEs), such as steel, aluminium and cement, face additional barriers to cutting pollution while staying competitive in global markets. In recognition of this, Labor will provide tailored treatment for EITEs under the extended safeguard mechanism. This will ensure they face comparable impacts from climate change policies as their competitors do in relevant international markets. Labor will also establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce and $300m Strategic Industries Reserve Fund to support these industries in finding solutions to cut pollution and remain competitive. 


  • Helping the land sector to cut pollution while giving farmers and the forestry industry new opportunities to earn income – No one knows our land better than our farmers - they’ve been leading the way in responding to climate change. The agricultural sector will be exempt from the expanded safeguard mechanism - we won’t have targets for farmers. Labor wants to see Australia’s land sector supply more affordable offsets for pollution, which will reduce the cost of abatement for business and give farmers and regional communities greater economic opportunities. We will review and reinvigorate the carbon farming initiative, and develop a high-quality, well-functioning offset market. Labor will also put in place new federal legislation to bring broad-scale land clearing under control. Where states properly regulate land clearing, such as in Queensland, Labor will take no action.

In addition, Labor has taken the decision not to allow the use of Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets. By allowing the carryover of Kyoto credits, the Liberals’ already weak target effectively falls from 26 per cent to 16 per cent. Using Kyoto credits is fake action on climate change, and Ukraine is the only other country in the world to confirm they will do this.
Labor will restore and reform important institutions like the Climate Change Authority, and to make sure we can adapt to a changing climate, we will conduct the first ever comprehensive Climate Change Assessment on the likely and potential impacts of climate change on all aspects of Australian life.
Our policy has been developed in consultation with industry and experts, and it builds on already announced policies like our Energy Plan and Hydrogen Plan.
It’s a good plan for families, for industry – and for the planet.
The Liberal Party is full of climate sceptics and hopelessly divided on climate change – Scott Morrison even brought a lump of coal into Parliament instead of a climate policy.
The Liberals have helped push up power prices by having 13 different energy policies, undermining investment in renewable energy, supporting taxpayer money for new coal plants and backing power privatisations.
There is only one major political party serious about real action on climate change – Labor.  That’s because we are determined to pass on a better deal to the next generation.
Only Labor will deliver real action on climate change to deliver lower pollution, lower power prices and a stronger economy.
More information is available at