Coalition backs targets but also further delay Media Release

May 26, 2009 - 1:38pm

While welcoming the bipartisan offer of 25% pollution reduction targets the independent Climate Institute will be urging the Coalition to reconsider their decision to back further delay on Australian climate action.

“The bipartisan position on 25 per cent reductions by 2020 is welcome but delaying the passage of the CPRS legislation will weaken our credibility in international negotiations and hinder clean energy investments,” said Climate Institute CEO John Connor.

“While it is true the Government will now have no excuse for not going to stronger targets this move, if successful, will magnify the distrust of developing countries looking not only for leadership but credible implementation schemes.

“Delay will also magnify the uncertainty for businesses who want to invest in Australian clean energy and other low carbon jobs and industries,” Mr Connor said.

The Climate Institute released a report yesterday which showed a combination of proposed renewable energy and emissions trading legislation would spur tens of thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars of investments, mostly in regional Australia.

“The Coalition’s rush to support further billions of dollars of subsidies for big polluters through 100% exemptions may, as its own research has shown, just add more costs for Australian taxpayers.”

‘…compensation measures will not in themselves lower the marginal cost of abatement. Indeed, to the extent to which they result in different costs of abatement on different groups, they may in fact increase the economy wide cost of abatement’ (Centre for International Economics p. 42).
“Delaying legislative action is no solution. We’ll be redoubling our efforts to urge the Coalition, and the rest of the Senate, to reconsider before their mid-June debate and throughout the year if necessary.”

“The Government should also not use this decision as an excuse to delay the introduction of its renewable energy legislation.

“With broad support across business, environmental, labour and welfare groups for the changed CPRS package it is time to stop the bloodletting and distractions.

“It’s time our politicians stopped arguing about climate policies and allowed greater attention to the international negotiations and to allow business to invest in clean energy and low carbon jobs and industries.”

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