Day of change in Australia's pollution politics Media Release

Jun 24, 2010 - 12:00pm

Today is a day of change in Australia’s pollution politics with the welcome bipartisan support for expected final passage of amendments to the renewable energy legislation and a new potential for detailed plans on pollution and climate change, said The Climate Institute.  

“Today should serve as a marker to end the race to the bottom that has characterised pollution and climate change policies over recent months,” said John Connor, CEO The Climate Institute.  

“The Renewable Energy Target is a crucial step towards reducing our economies damaging dependence on pollution. Fixing this legislation has been important not only to unleash the over $20 billion dollars of investment in making clean energy cheaper but also to help create over 20,000 clean energy industry jobs.”

“New Prime Minister Julia Gillard should see this as a springboard for action on pollution and climate change not a full stop.”

“While this is an important step, without making major polluting companies responsible for the damage they cause and a putting a price on pollution to make clean energy cheaper across the economy, Australia’s pollution levels will continue rise.”

“Greater efforts and incentives are also needed to give investors the confidence they need in investing in emerging smart clean technologies like big solar, geothermal and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage.”

“Australia needs clear limits on pollution and a system that rewards businesses taking responsibility for their pollution and charges those that don’t.”  

“Delaying emissions trading until 2014 or beyond risks locking in Australia’s dependence on polluting industries.  Without a limit and price on pollution Australia will continue to miss out on the economic, health and environmental opportunities of taking responsibility for pollution and growing a cleaner more competitive economy.”

“All parties should be congratulated today but we look forward to more detailed plans on pollution and climate change that halt Australia’s rising pollution in the next three years, make business take responsibility for their pollution and makes clean energy cheaper.  

“Prime Minister Rudd’s contributions and energy in raising the profile and importance of action on pollution and climate change from the 2007 election campaign deserves acknowledgement. His personal commitment and engagement in the lead up to and during the Copenhagen climate summit are testament to this commitment. Kevin Rudd is deeply concerned about this issue which made the decision to delay the CPRS to 2014 all the more surprising, we wish him well in future endeavours and hope he remains a key figure in raising the standard of the national climate change debate.”

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