The Greens are currently touring the country as part of a campaign to push their latest proposals on climate change. One of these proposals is for a "climate defence fund", funded by money raised from putting a price on carbon, and used to fund energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and (presumably) adaptation projects. So far, so good - this sort of revenue recycling is a no-brainer. It gives us "double dividends" as well as explicitly linking the price of emissions with relieving the damage they cause. But then they talk about the level of this funding:
Fitzsimons said climate change was the greatest threat to the country so at least $1.6 billion should be spent on preparing for its effects – the same as the defence budget.
(Elsewhere, they say that "climate change is the greatest threat we face. Spending the same as our defence budget ($1.6 billion) is the least we should do").
It's great rhetoric, but I can't for the life of me see the point in such a high level of funding, or how it would be spent. I took a quick look at revenue recycling last year, and came up with an additional $45 - $50 million a year of projects that could be funded in this way, and that number could be doubled if capacity constraints were relieved. Funding further rounds of the Projects Mechanism would cost around $50 million a year, and the government is planning $20 - $30 million a year for its afforestation grants scheme. Again, those numbers could be increased somewhat, and the government could start planting trees itself, but we're still talking in the ballpark of a few hundred million dollars. Even if we doubled it (if we're really imaginative in working out good ways of spending money on this), we're still left with a billion dollars to spare.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that the Greens need to go away and do some rough costings of what they want to fund. Otherwise, it just looks like they're pulling numbers out of their arse purely for rhetorical effect - which doesn't do a thing to convince people that you have serious, sensible, well-thought-out policy.