May 17, 2013 - 9:47am
The Coalition’s budget-in-reply speech last night was disappointingly short in saying what it will do to address climate change, only providing more information of what it will undo, said The Climate Institute today.
“The Coalition repeated that its plan to scrap the carbon laws but provided no assurance on its promised $3.2 billion in the first four years for its ’Direct Action Plan’, and no information about the Budget contribution of its carbon price penalty for polluting business,” said John Connor CEO, The Climate Institute.
“There was a disappointing lack of detail of what a Coalition Government would do. In fact the Opposition only spoke about what it would undo.”
“We are looking for details on how the Coalition will achieve the full range of its carbon pollution reduction targets of 5 to 25 per cent reductions off 2000 levels by 2020.”
The Coalition and the Government both support a range of 2020 reductions from 5 to 25 per cent off 2000 levels, and promise to apply the same conditions on global action to scaling up effort. Independent analysis on those conditions and the extent of current global action would see Australia commit to 10 to 15 per cent.
The Coalition’s ‘Direct Action Plan’ also includes a carbon penalty, as yet unspecified, for companies that pollute more than business as usual.
“We are also looking for more details on their and the Government’s commitment to climate finance, our contributions to help neighbouring developing countries prepare for climate impacts and get on to cleaner more sustainable development,” said Connor.
“This is in our economic interest not only because these countries are key emerging trading partners but also because such support is crucial to helping reach a global agreement with all major emitters. Australia has committed internationally to scale up such commitments and should be investing around $350 million per year.”
“Both the Government and the Coalition have also failed to indicate how they will fund coordination of our efforts to prepare for unavoidable climate impacts. “
“The Government has cut funding to the National Climate Adaptation Research Facility, both it and the Coalition should provide details how research on climate risk will be coordinated and shared.”
“On Tuesday night we said the cuts and deferrals in the Government’s budget highlighted the superiority of target driven carbon and renewable energy markets and this speech has done nothing to alter our view."
“With carbon markets emerging in China, South Korea and California and countries like South Africa planning to put a price on carbon the global trend is towards making companies take greater responsibility and start to pay for their carbon pollution that is endangering the health, safety and security of Australians and others around the world,” concluded Connor.
For more information
John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute, 0413 968 175
Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 0407 004 037