Nov 25, 2008 - 1:00am
The independent Climate Institute today challenged business leaders
to introduce balance to the debate on climate policy and reveal their
position on Australia’s 2020 pollution reduction targets and what they
believe are safe long-term global pollution levels.
unprecedented move, the Institute has placed adverts in the Australian
Financial Review, The Australian and the Courier Mail and is writing to
Business Council of Australia and all its members.
crisis has shown how important it is to balance long-term and short term
interests yet from many of our polluters and business leaders all we
have heard are concerns about short-term challenges,” said John Connor,
Climate Institute CEO.
The policy debate is at a critical juncture
with the Government about to decide on Australia’s 2020 carbon
pollution reduction target range before global climate ministerial
negotiations beginning next week in Poznan, Poland.
leaders are to have credibility they need to restore the balance in this
discussion, and so we are asking them what they think are safe long
term global levels for greenhouse gases and, in turn, where they think
Australia should set its 2020 and long-term pollution reduction levels.”
their credit, most now accept the science of climate change but
remaining silent on objectives climate scientists are recommending, such
as stabilising global atmospheric greenhouse gas levels below 450 parts
per million, allows them to avoid the urgency of action to achieve
“Accepting the science, but avoiding its implications, is a
‘greenwash’ of epic and global proportions. Business owes more to
The world’s top climate scientists say to
achieve around 450ppm, developed countries need to reduce 1990 level
emissions by 25 – 40 % by 2020 as part of a global effort.
Garnaut recommended Australia’s contribution to this global effort
would be 25% reductions off 2000 levels (for Australia about the same as
1990 levels because of land clearing reductions) by 2020. Treasury and
others have shown that, not only can we afford this, but our economy
would reap long-term gains by tapping into the emerging multi- billion
dollar low-carbon economy.
“The Garnaut Review concluded achieving
global levels below 450ppm is in our national interest and it is vital
that Australia keeps up the global ambition for this long term objective
by including in its 2020 target range at least 25 % carbon pollution
reductions off 1990/2000 levels.”
“This debate is too serious to
allow some participants just to focus on side of the debate. It is time
business leaders came clean on their 2020 and long term objectives for
ensuring a safe climate for future generations and long term, low
carbon, competiveness for our economy,” concluded Mr Connor.