Moderate conservative that he is, Australian environment minister Greg Hunt ran on a platform of “lean” government, where private businesses “are the true creators of wealth”, individuals need to take personal responsibility for their actions, and the former Labor government’s carbon price was a “non-delivery of an invisible substance”.

It was a surprise then, to learn last week, that Greg Hunt wants to give $3 billion to big polluting companies to reduce their emissions, but have no sanctions for those businesses if they fail to meet the reduction targets.

This is like giving money to an illegal drug dealer to develop innovative ways for him to stop dealing drugs, then having no penalty if he keeps selling them. Worse, the drug dealer could claim government funding for drugs that he supposedly didn’t sell over his “baseline” of sales, but carry on pushing drugs regardless.
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