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Abbott's "blood pledge" no concern to lawyers

Abbott's "blood pledge" no concern to lawyers

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's "blood pledge" to repeal the Government's carbon legislation is of little concern to climate change lawyers. Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today about the impact the…

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's "blood pledge" to repeal the Government's carbon legislation is of little concern to climate change lawyers.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today about the impact the legislation will have for climate change practices, Allens Arthur Robinson lawyer Fergus Green said Abbott's "pledge in blood" to repeal the legislation (passed yesterday in the House of Representatives) creates only a small degree of uncertainty for lawyers and their clients.

"I don't think it's a really big issue because there are so many 'ifs' along the way. It creates a bit of a shadow of uncertainty over the whole thing but I think only a small one," said Green. "I think there's a fair bit of scepticism as to whether [the Opposition] will actually be able to come through on that [claim], notwithstanding the blood pledge that Tony Abbott made yesterday."

Similarly, Norton Rose partner Anthony Hobley said it is unlikely Abbott will be able to repeal the legislation - particularly given the Greens have control of the Senate - and noted the practical issues which the Opposition would face should the legislation be repealed, including the withdrawal of benefits being paid in compensation for the "tax".

While the carbon legislation will create more work for climate change lawyers as they prepare their clients for the 1 July 2012 start date, Green said the Gillard Government's carbon scheme is not going to give Australia a "clean energy future" on its own.

"It's a necessary and significant first step but it's a very, very small step," he said. "I think the target is weak, the price will be low ... It will help reduce our emissions by some amount but it's not going to give us a clean energy future."

Briana Everett

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