We have a Plan for Real Action - 2013 Election

10. Reduce carbon emissions

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We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas – and also establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean up the environment.

Cleaning up our own environment

We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions – and establish a 15,000-strong Green Army charged with the clean-up and conservation of our environment – so that we can all enjoy a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future without the impost of the carbon tax which is causing real economic damage to our economy and affecting the living standards of Australian families.

Reducing carbon emissions inside Australia, not overseas

We will take direct action to reduce carbon emissions in a practical, affordable way inside Australia, not overseas. We remain committed to a five per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.

  • We will establish an Emissions Reduction Fund of $3 billion to allocate money in response to emission reduction tenders to projects designed to reduce carbon emissions.

  • All money spent will be on Australian green projects, not foreign carbon credits, keeping more jobs in Australia.

  • We will support projects such as the exploration of soil carbon technologies and abatement, putting carbon back in soils and providing for a once in a generation replenishment of our farmlands.

Delivering a better environment

We will establish a 15,000-strong Green Army to clean up and protect the environment in local communities throughout Australia supplementing the current land care efforts of councils, farmers and volunteers. The Green Army will undertake projects like restoring and rejuvenating bushland, planting trees and cleaning-up the Tamar River in Tasmania.

Improving water security – better water management

We will enhance Australia’s natural water supplies and reduce Australia’s reliance on energy-hungry desalination plants.

  • We will deliver on the 10-point plan for the Murray-Darling announced by the Howard Government. We will restore the Murray-Darling to health while still ensuring the viability of Australia’s food producing communities. The future of the Murray-Darling should not and cannot be a choice just between the environment and agriculture. The Coalition will address both parts of this equation.

  • We will start the detailed long-term planning necessary to build new dams to secure the nation’s water supplies into the future, deliver strong economic benefits for Australia, while also protecting our environment.

Improving the environmental approval process

We will streamline the environmental approval process for all users – resulting in less duplication across federal and State jurisdictions and delivering a real boost to the nation’s productivity.

We will establish a one-stop shop environmental approvals process covering both Commonwealth and State legislation, that maintains high environmental standards, delivers certainty for all users and importantly makes swift decisions.

Supporting communities – creating a sustainable environment

We will adopt a practical, balanced and sustainable approach to environmental issues based on linking sound scientific findings with the needs of all users resulting in more sustainable commercial activities and better environmental outcomes.

For example, we will support the fishing industry. We will adopt a more balanced approach by setting up more rigorous assessments for new Marine Protected Areas that will mean the areas are assessed in accordance with objective scientific, economic and social evidence. Our aim is to continue to protect marine environments and the fishing communities which rely on them.