Form the Sydney Morning Herald:
Coalition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull has characterised his party’s climate change policy as ”short term” and says he hopes the world moves to a market-based mechanism to reduce emissions.
But Mr Turnbull, who has previously described Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy as ”a con” and lost his leadership of the Liberal Party in 2009 due to his support for an emissions trading scheme, chose his words carefully while appearing on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night.
”I will support the collective wisdom of the party room,” Mr Turnbull said.
Asked whether he would join Mr Abbott in campaigning to repeal an emissions trading scheme, Mr Turnbull admitted ”there would be more convincing advocates”.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he thought that Mr Turnbull “did a very very good job on Q&A last night” but he contradicted Mr Turnbull’s view that the world was moving in the direction of carbon pricing.
“As I’ve always said, the world is moving away from carbon taxes and emission trading scheme, not towards it,” Mr Abbott said.
“The world is moving towards the kind of Direct Action measures that the Coalition has long been proposing.”
On Tuesday, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey suggested the Coalition was open to considering an emissions trading scheme if the circumstances were right.
“If the world comes together in pricing carbon across their whole economies, then Australia stands prepared to look at joining them,” Mr Hockey said
Abbott says one thing, Hockey and Turnbull another.
Jo Hockey: I mean if the world is moving that way, well we might consider a emissions trading scheme…
Boom, here comes the back flip!
A few words from me some time back:
For over a year now I’ve been arguing Abbott and the LNP have a growing problem on their hands. Their opposition to the carbon price (Ax the tax!) and Abbott’s “Blood oath” is a trap they have made for themselves. While ditching a price on carbon may be to the liking of far-right-wing columnists such as Andrew Bolt and eccentric mining billionaires, it turns out the vast majority of business in Australia is happy with an emissions trading scheme (see below).
While “Ax the tax”. “Ju-liar” and “Ditch the Witch” were effective (but ugly) slogans they lacked substance. Simple opposition and the proposed Direct Action Policy are now being seen as lacking substance. Abbott has a growing problem, and it is a problem of his making.
I suspect the vicious opposition to the “carbon tax” will prove to have been useful in giving the Coalition a useful short-term tactical advantage, but in the end a strategic blunder. China and now America are now moving towards more vigorous action. This now leaves Australia and Abbott the laggards. The world is moving, and Abbott still thinks it is 1955.
My advice: watch this space.
I’m growing increasingly confident that Abbott may have to breach his “blood oath”. The moment Abbott baulks he is in deep trouble: the hypocrisy will be obvious to all.
Here’s another thought… imagine what Malcolm Turnball, the man Abbott deposed with the backing of climate sceptics, is thinking after watching the return of Kevin Rudd.