‘I’m not going to invent a number’: Bill Shorten refuses to say how much his renewable energy policy will cost – as experts estimate it would wipe $264BILLION off Australia’s economy
- Opposition Leader Bill Shorten again refused to nominate cost of climate policy
- He declined to give an economic figure when grilled by 7.30 host Leigh Sales
- BAEconomics has said Labor’s emissions plan would cost economy $264billion
- Labor is promising to slash carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030
- It has unveiled a new $75million plan to create 70,000 renewable energy jobs
Labor leader Bill Shorten, who is favourite to become Prime Minister later this month, has again refused to say how much Labor’s climate change policy will cost the economy.
The Opposition Leader was asked several times on the ABC’s 7.30 program about his plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 – which is much more ambitious than the government’s 28 per cent goal.
Switching from fossil fuels to renewables will come at a high price but Mr Shorten has repeatedly declined to nominate a figure.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was asked, several times, on the ABC’s 7.30 program about his plan to cut carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 but he refused to specify a cost
‘I’m not going to get caught up in this government game of gotcha when you’ve got to invent a number which you can’t possibly,’ he told the ABC on Wednesday.
Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, suggested there must be a short-term hit to Australia’s gross domestic product and called on Mr Shorten to be frank about the cost.
‘I accept your position that there’s a long-term benefit,’ she said.
‘What I’m asking you to do is to square with the voters about exactly what the short-term cost is of getting to that position.’
Leigh Sales, the host of 7.30, suggested there would be a short-term effect on Australia’s gross domestic product and called on Mr Shorten to be frank about the cost
Hours after that interview, BAEconomics released modelling showing Labor’s climate change plan would cost the economy $264billion.
How much will Labor’s climate plan cost you?
BAEconomics has modeled Labor’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
It calculated the Opposition’s climate change plan could cost the economy between $264billion and $524billion.
The hit to gross domestic product, between 2021 and 2030, will be dependent on the extent to which a Labor government allows international emissions trading permits to be included in the carbon abatement target.
Labor’s emission reduction target is based on the Paris Agreement of 2015, and is designed to cut carbon pollution from 563 megatonnes to 333 megatonnes by 2030.
A change in electricity generation will drive the biggest reduction in carbon emissions, followed by industrial production and transport.
Source: BAEconomics report, ‘Economic consequences of Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan’ released on May 1, 2019
Dr Brian Fisher, the managing director of the Canberra-based consultancy, told Daily Mail Australia the ‘economic consequences’ would depend on a future government’s willingness to accept international emissions trading permits.
‘The impacts could be very severe,’ he said.
BAEconomics released another report in March estimating Labor’s climate plan would cost 336,000 jobs and cause an eight per cent plunge in lost wages by 2030.
In the 7.30 interview on Wednesday night, Mr Shorten argued no action on tackling climate change would cost more in the long-run.
‘You assume there is no cost to doing nothing and there is,’ he said.
‘If you don’t change, then the cost will be far greater than any initial investments.
‘If you’re asking me to specify what a particular company and a particular factory will have to do, I can’t do that, nor could you, nor can the government.’
On Thursday, Labor unveiled a $75million plan to create 70,000 renewable energy jobs.
The Opposition is also vowing to have 50 per cent of Australia’s energy come from renewal sources by 2030.
In mid-April, Mr Shorten engaged in a tense stand-off with Channel 10 reporter Jonathan Lea, who repeatedly asked him to provide detail the economic effects of Labor’s plan to reduce carbon emissions by 45 per cent within 11 years.
A fortnight ago, 10 News First reporter Jonathan Lea (pictured) became frustrated when Mr Shorten declined to provide detail on Labor’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
On Thursday, Labor unveiled a $75million plan to create 70,000 renewable energy jobs, a day after Mr Shorten visited a Whyalla solar farm in South Australia