May 14, 2008 - 6:59am
The Federal Budget was a mild but promising start to the challenge of
unlocking Australia’s clean energy opportunities, said The Climate
Attention now turns to the key decisions on the
policies and trading scheme design to unlock those opportunities and
allow Australia to play a leadership role in the global negotiations
vital to our interest.
“While the 2008 Budget has delivered the
pre-election promise of a solid start to unlocking the opportunities of a
clean energy future, all eyes are now focused on the government’s real
challenge to guarantee that the climate policies and trading scheme due
later this year have a strong 2020 target,” said Mr John Connor, CEO of
the Climate Institute.
“It is these strong targets and policies
that will generate significant dividends from the trading scheme to
invest in the shift to a clean energy future – ensuring all new
electricity load generation is clean, incentives for developing
countries and assistance to those worst affected.”
“There are some
clouds with a question mark over funding for hot rock and other
renewable energy initiatives in the coming year, and a disappointing
failure to fully tackle perverse subsidies encouraging corporate
gas-guzzlers and greater use of polluting fuels.
“And we would
have preferred greater investment in public transport and energy
efficiency. These and other clean energy and affordability measures
will be critical to next year’s budget and the use of the Building
“But it must be recognised that there is daylight
between this Budget and those delivered over the last decade and a half –
there is a substantially improved investment in the opportunities of a
clean energy future for Australia.
“There is funding to develop
and implement key initiatives such as the emissions trading scheme and
20% renewable energy target for 2020, as well as a start to some
important energy efficiency and affordability measures.”
are also welcome increases in funding to prepare for the impacts of
climate change that are now unavoidable with extra support for the reef,
farmers and overseas development assistance.”
Institute also welcomed the higher profile for climate change across the
budget with repeated recognition that the costs of inaction will be
much higher than the costs of action.