Even the lunatic RBA has swung behind climate change mitigation now, at the AFR:
Reserve Bank deputy governor Guy Debelle has called for immediate action on climate change to avert an “abrupt, disorderly” economic transition, in a speech that confirmed climate change policy as one of the central bank’s key priorities.
In a speech on Tuesday, Dr Debelle said climate change posed a “systemic risk” to the Australian economy and would make new demands of monetary policymakers.
The speech paid particular attention to macroeconomic modelling, which Dr Debelle said had failed to adequately factor in the economic effects of climate change.
But not the LNP. Via David Crowe at Domain:
The research, presented to the federal Nationals MPs in Canberra last month, showed that voters were most concerned about the cost of living but that climate change also ranked as one of their top issues.
The findings are fuelling fears within the party about a backlash in Nationals strongholds in northern NSW and possibly other areas, where voters have increased their support for the Greens and independents.
In a sign of those concerns, Victorian Nationals leader Peter Walsh accused former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce of hurting the party with his calls for federal aid for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland.
The QLD Nats live in One Nation coal heartland. Support for coal in these jurisdictions is not a rational position and is not going to change in any immediate future. It is some toxic combination of denialism and self-interest.
Yet taking that policy position to the wider community renders the rest of the LNP toxic everywhere else. So long as ON exists to hold QLD Nats to account, LNP governments cannot.
Paul Kelly sums it up pretty well:
Disunity over energy policy during Turnbull’s leadership became fatal. The Nationals can pitch coal to their regional constituency but Australian sentiment has turned against coal. This is yet another massive victory by the progressives while the Coalition has been governing.
The anti-coal forces in effect vetoed coal on political grounds, won the battle on financial grounds and their ideological wing now conducts a cultural war against coal that seems to have made immense inroads. In truth, this campaign is a bizarre brew of rational economics and irrational climate change mania that threatens serious harm.
The conservatives have been outsmarted and out-muscled. The upshot is rage and frustration within the Queensland wing of the Nationals over the demonisation of the nation’s major export earner and sullen resentment among conservative Liberals typified by Abbott’s recent concession that Australia should honour the Paris accords.
For the government, the most frightening aspect of Joyce’s intervention is his apparent assumption of irreconcilable National-Liberal differences over coal and climate change. Joyce’s assertion of a pro-coal National stance comes with the recognition that this will damage Liberal votes and lose Liberal seats in the far bigger suburban centres of Melbourne and Sydney.
There’s nothing “irrational” about the war on coal. It’s going to get much, much worse as climate change advances. Anyone who can’t see this is a political liability.
Yet, progressive leaders like Malcolm Turnbull can’t cut it, either. Leaders at either end of the polarity will fall.
John Howard might have negotiated this impasse by pushing forward on climate change mitigation while holding the Nats together with conservative social policy. But even he had a lot of luck in doing so and did not face today’s rising anti-coal tide.
The only hope that the Coalition as it is currently constituted has of recovery is to find other issues that can paper over its climate change impasse. Immigration was the obvious choice given it would have destroyed ON. But the Liberal Party appears just as irrationally wedded to that as the QLD Nats are to coal.
It may take years in opposition before the party collapses, but with its current structure the LNP appears doomed.