Coalition policy and Abbott speech no help to their climate credibility Media Release

Jan 28, 2013 - 12:11pm

The Climate Institute described yesterday’s Coalition Policy Booklet and Opposition Leader’s Speech as unhelpful to their climate credibility and to efforts to avoid the damaging impacts of climate change.

“What we need from our political leaders are plans to ensure prosperity and resilience in a world increasingly focusing on low carbon solutions and rising extreme weather events,” said John Connor, CEO The Climate Institute.

“The Opposition Leader’s speech was disappointing, if not facile, in its attempt to joke about the carbon laws’ impact on recent extreme heat, and its misrepresentation of the laws’ role in addressing global warming”

In yesterday’s speech Opposition Leader Tony Abbot said:
We will have a cleaner environment. Isn’t it bizarre that this government thinks that somehow raising the price of electricity is going to clean up our environment, stop bushfires, stop floods, stop droughts? Just think of how much hotter it might have been the other day but for the carbon tax!

Connor said: “The carbon laws are far from perfect, but they have real potential to help limit Australia’s net carbon pollution. Emissions from electricity are already down 8.6 per cent since the carbon laws began. Next year will see an independently advised pollution cap established. These laws play an important part in Australia doing its fair share to avoid increasingly dangerous extreme weather."

“The Coalition’s Policy Booklet is disappointing because of its carbon nationalism. It avoids any reference as to how Australia will participate in global efforts to avoid climate change. It also fails to discuss how Australia will help neighbouring countries make their economic growth, so vital to Australia, more sustainable and more resilient to climate impacts.”

“The policy document is disappointing because it provides little detail on how the Coalition will raise Australia’s relatively poor carbon and energy productivity.”

“The policy document is also disappointing because it only references the bottom end of the Coalition’s commitment, shared with the Government, to cut Australia’s emissions by up to 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.”

“We look forward to greater detail on all these areas in more detailed Coalition policy documents and commitments."

Connor added: “In this election year we’ll also be examining the policies of other parties on similar fronts – how they help us do our fair share of pollution reduction, how they improve our carbon and energy competitiveness and how they help global efforts to build regional and global responses to the growing climate challenge.

“Last week’s National Security Strategy from the Government barely passed muster in this regard, not reflecting other countries’ increasing focus on climate and related resource threats to security."

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John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299

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