Labor repeat Rudd mistake by reheating NEG instead of talking to Greens.
Greens spokesperson for climate change and energy Adam Bandt MP and Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale wrote to their Labor counterparts Bill Shorten and Mark Butler in late August after the toppling of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the demise of his signature energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), to open discussions on climate change policy. Up till this point, Labor has declined to substantially engage, but the party remains open to constructive engagement.
Quotes attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Greens spokesperson for climate change and energy:
“Working together, the Greens and Labor implemented world-leading carbon pricing legislation. Without us, Labor have reheated the National Energy Guarantee, an unproven policy designed to placate Tony Abbott.”
“Bill Shorten will need us in the next Parliament whether he likes it or not. If we work together we can get real action on climate change.”
Quotes attributable to Senator Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens:
“We understood from the get go that there were some pretty big differences between our two parties’ positions on how to tackle climate change, but I expected that we’d at least be able to find some common ground on the need to increase the RET as a starting point from which we could work to build more common ground on other policy approaches. Unfortunately, even that appears to be too much for Labor.
“This transition is going to happen with or without politicians, the only question is whether it happens in an orderly and stable way that is good for the environment, for workers and for the economy or continues in chaos. We are about a rapid and orderly transition, not chaos and politics. This letter was an approach to make that happen and it’s disappointing it’s not happened.
“It’s critical that Bill Shorten doesn’t make the same mistake that Kevin Rudd made and refuse to engage with the Greens on climate change for political reasons. We don’t want that to happen, we’re open to putting politics aside and engaging constructively with the Labor Party but it takes two to tango and right now they’re not coming to the dance.”