The federal government has released figures it says show the opposition’s direct action plan to tackle climate change would cost nearly 200 per cent, or $19.


5 billion, more than originally claimed.

Australian households would be poorer by an average of $720 a year under the coalition’s direct action plan, federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says.

“The new figures demonstrate that direct action is so environmentally ineffective that it will deliver only 25 per cent of carbon pollution abatement required for the coalition to meet the bipartisan target of minus five per cent (by 2020),” Mr Combet said in a statement.

“This means that the coalition would need to purchase 75 per cent of the required abatement from international permits at a cost of over $20 billion – which currently has no funding allocated.”

The cost of the opposition’s plan would eventually leave a $30 billion budget shortfall by 2020, Mr Combet said.

The coalition’s policy would result in taxpayers paying to cut pollution rather than polluters forking out, the climate change minister said.

There would be no investment certainty for industry and households would receive no assistance for increased living costs.

Last week, Labor announced its plan to introduce a fixed price on carbon from July 2012 before introducing an emissions trading scheme, with a floating price, three to five years later.

Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt later said the government’s climate change policy would cost significantly more to cut carbon emissions.

“(Labor’s) figures show a $114 billion total permit cost to be paid for through electricity and petrol over the coming years,” he told Sky News.

Mr Hunt said the opposition’s policy was based on a simple concept of using real actions to lower emissions.

“It is based on the best system in Australia, it is probably the best system in the southern hemisphere, and arguably the best system in the world – the NSW Labor government’s model.”

It had been highly effective and reduced emission at around $7.50 a tonne, Mr Hunt said.