LEtter from Anthony Albanese to PM.
LEtter from Anthony Albanese to PM.

‘Surrender note’: Albo’s letter to PM

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has urged the Prime Minister to end the climate wars in a letter outlining a new bipartisan approach on energy policy that's being dubbed "a surrender note" by critics.

In an olive branch, Mr Albanese has written to the PM urging the Morrison government to find an energy policy that both sides of politics can support and then get on with legislating it.

The Labor leader said that the ALP would not "seek a specific model" for the bipartisan energy policy as long as it could be scalable to different emissions targets of a future government.

After the Prime Minister spruiked the benefits of bipartisanship during the COVID-19 crisis with Labor state premiers, Mr Albanese is urging the Prime Minister to embrace a new deal on energy policy.

"As we address the greatest health and economic crisis we have seen for generations, it is only by working together that we can deliver the leadership Australian businesses and families are rightly crying out for,'' Mr Albanese writes.

"It is my sincere hope that you carefully consider and accept this genuine offer."

 

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese wants to work with the government to end the energy policy impasse that has led to higher bills for consumers. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese wants to work with the government to end the energy policy impasse that has led to higher bills for consumers. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

 

Portion of the first page of the letter sent from Anthony Albanese to PM Scott Morrison.
Portion of the first page of the letter sent from Anthony Albanese to PM Scott Morrison.

Previously, Labor had offered to back the National Energy Guarantee, which the Liberal Party put on ice two years ago during the leadership revolt that toppled Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.

Whether it's the carbon tax, the National Energy Guarantee or the emissions reduction scheme, successive governments have tried and failed to deliver a détente in the energy policy space.

While the brawls have toppled prime ministers and political leaders, experts insist the real losers are voters who are paying more for energy as businesses refuse to invest because of the uncertainty.

Business leaders have consistently warned that Australia's energy prices for electricity and gas are higher than they should be as a result of the policy vacuum in the climate change space.

The new negotiating position was ticked off by the shadow cabinet recently, following negotiations between the Left faction's Mark Butler and the Right faction's pro-coal frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon.

 

Extinction Rebellion protests took over cities to put climate on the agenda before coronavirus took over. Picture: AAP Image/Luis Ascui
Extinction Rebellion protests took over cities to put climate on the agenda before coronavirus took over. Picture: AAP Image/Luis Ascui

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not yet responded to the offer. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has not yet responded to the offer. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

 

Last year, Mr Albanese carpeted Mr Fitzgibbon in the shadow cabinet over his public call for a "sensible settlement'' with the Liberal Party on climate change targets.

The brawl prompted Mr Butler to announce he would be announcing a "climate change emergency'' in parliament, which critics complained was "a crock of sh*t."

In February, Mr Albanese announced that a Labor Government would adopt a target of net zero emissions by 2050.

 

Portion of the third page from a letter sent from Anthony Albanese to PM Scott Morrison.
Portion of the third page from a letter sent from Anthony Albanese to PM Scott Morrison.

 

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Albanese has also offered to support the development and use of Carbon Capture Storage methodologies for the creation of Australian carbon credit units to be available for Emission Reduction Fund auctions.

This is despite the Labor Party insisting it remains opposed to the taxpayer funded Emissions Reduction Fund on the grounds it is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

But while the bipartisan approach has been endorsed by the shadow cabinet, it's likely to sharpen the differences between the ALP and the Greens and could alarm some inner-city MPs.

"We've taken ourselves hostage and now we're sending the PM a surrender note,'' a Labor MP quipped.

Originally published as 'Surrender note': Albo's letter to PM


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