Australian Mining Billionaire Clive Palmer Opposes Tony Abbott's Direct Action Plan, Thinks It's 'Hopeless'
By Reissa Su | April 22, 2014 7:14 PM EST
Clive Palmer, Australia's mining billionaire, will be turning his back on Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Direct Action policy saying it was a "waste of money."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool
The Australian government might not succeed in securing funding for its climate policy worth $1.45 billion of AU$1.55 billion to pay big carbon emitters to reduce pollution. Palmer, who heads the Palmer United Party (PUP), which is set to control the Senate beginning in July, is prepared to vote against Abbott's Direct Action plan to fight climate change. He said the party has no reason to support the Coalition government's plan. He added it was "hopeless."
If the Direct Action policy fails to launch, Australia might be left without a climate policy to reduce greenhouse gases. Australia is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses per capita with a target to reduce emissions by 5 percent by 2020.
According to Reuters, The Climate Institute's John Connor said the Australian government should be looking at other options. But Palmer may be not like Direct Action but the PUP has pledged to help abolish the existing carbon tax policy. If a carbon tax repeal succeeds, Australia will have no climate policy unless the government will be able to come up with a compromise before July.
Previous reports noted Australia is one of the biggest and most active "climate change deniers" in the world. While the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is encouraging countries to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Australia focuses on coal which is considered the biggest contributor to the ozone's destruction.
Dr. Frank Jotzo from the Australian National University, Australia has to quadruple low carbon energy use in 2050 or risk the consequences of climate change to agriculture, coastal areas and tourism.
A two-year climate study has prompted calls for curbing carbon emissions from human activities. Greenhouse emissions are already at record levels. Climate scientists predicted the world will be 5 degrees hotter by 2070.
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