Originally published in On Line Opinion on September 27, 2011

The list of friends for Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan continues to shrink. The Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN) which co-ordinates, among others, the mining and manufacturing industry’s response to climate change issues has rejected the Opposition’s plan saying it would cost far more than the Coalition has claimed. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott responded by saying that the amount of money they would spend on direct action was capped. If the Coalition has capped the scheme and will not increase the funding then it is unlikely there will be enough money to reach their five per cent emission reduction target. This leaves the possibility that emissions will actually rise under the Coalition’s scheme, which puts him further at odds with climate scientists. With industry joining economists and Treasury in openly disputing the costs of the Direct Action Plan, domestically there are few left that support it. Internationally, Mr Abbott finds himself at odds with many of those who he might usually consider philosophical allies. His rejection of a market-based solution in favour of a big government spend-a-thon is at odds with centre-right philosophy.

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