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Greens plan for pollution tax, shutting down coal industry

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The Greens plan to use their power in the Senate to hold Labor to account on climate policy.

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Support from the minor party could be crucial to a possible Labor government passing its planned environmental and energy laws, giving the Greens the power of negotiation.

Greens environment spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young wants big polluters to pay a price for carbon emissions, with the money to go towards a $2 billion nature fund.

It would focus on protecting native flora and fauna from invasive species and developing recovery plans for threatened species.

The money would also go towards hiring more than 10,000 environmental managers, including a boost to indigenous ranger numbers.

Hanson-Young says nearly 2000 native species are facing extinction.

“The Greens have a plan to bring them back from the brink and help our unique wildlife and landscapes thrive,” she said.

“Successive governments have cut conservation funding and refuse to hold big polluters to account.”

The party also has a $1 billion transition plan for thermal coal workers to close the industry and wants 100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030.

Greens founder and former leader Bob Brown believes the party can boost its numbers at the federal election, as climate change weighs on voters’ minds.

This comes despite at swings against the Greens in the recent NSW and Victorian elections, amid some infighting and defections.

The former senator says Greens leader Richard Di Natale is the best of the three party heads in Canberra and has a strong team behind him.

“It is not divided like Labor and Liberal are and it’s particularly not divided on climate change,” Brown told ABC Radio National.

He believes support for the party in opinion polls will firm up as the May 18 election approaches and that they may even gain ground as climate change reigns as a major issue.

“You get street feedback about this. People are very concerned about the failure of climate policies and indeed environmental policies.

“The Greens are quite potentially going to be a turn up at this election because climate change is going to be a – if not the – key issue in voters’ minds as they’re going up that school path to the ballot box.”

Brown’s comments come as he prepares to lead a 6000-strong convoy protesting against Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

-AAP

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