Dec 15, 2008 - 12:43pm
The Government has slipped deep into ‘credibility deficit’ by stating
that it is in the national interest to stabilise greenhouse gas levels
at “450ppm and below” yet crippled Australia’s ability to achieve this
with a polluter-friendly package, The Climate Institute said today.
is reckless economic management ignoring not only the national
interest, but also the growing numbers of investors, property
developers, transport and energy companies who say that Australia can
and should commit to targets stronger than 5 - 15% reductions as part of
a global effort,” Climate Institute CEO John Connor said.
thinking business voices understand the bigger picture and that a
strong target of 25% reductions would happen as part of a strong global
agreement with sectoral agreements and flexibility mechanisms that would
dramatically reduce any potential disadvantage to Australian business.
than backing smart voices in forward looking industries, the Government
has buckled to the short-term interests of selfish business voices.
worse is that the Government has increased the number of free permits
to major polluters and watered down the conditions which require them to
clean up their act in return. This corporate welfare with inadequate
transparency and accountability effectively means ordinary Australians
are shelling out around $550 per person in 2020 to polluters.”
Government has opened a large credibility gap by identifying 450 ppm-e
as in our national interest but falling short of our fair share of
reductions. The maximum commitment of 15% reduction off 1990/2000 levels
by 2020 has been linked by Treasury to a 510 ppm-e risking far worse
Professor Garnaut linked a 25% reduction to the
450ppm outcome, as part of a global effort, and urged Australia to put
this on the table at international talks.
“What is striking is the
absence of an international strategy to pursue the national interest of
450ppm. There is no commitment, even over time, to allow for investment
in cleaning up the growth of our developing country neighbours or to
help them prepare for the impacts of climate change. Both of these are
crucial to a global deal,” Mr Connor said.
"I do however
recognise that addressing climate change would have been far easier to
do years ago during times of strong economic growth and that the
Government has not used the excuse of the global financial crisis as an
excuse for inaction.
“There is also a solid start in support for
low incomes households, but we’ll still need stronger measures for
energy efficiency to retrofit households and grow the tens of thousands
of jobs that can be part of this.
"This disappointing 5 per cent
target highlights the need for much stronger complementary measures such
as a comprehensive national energy efficiency strategy and prompt
implementation of the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target.”