Emissions trading task group report delivers more delay: It's now up to the Prime Minister Media Release

Jun 05, 2007 - 5:30am

The Climate Institute says the recommendations in the Prime Minister’s Emissions Trading Task Group Report which further delay key reforms for up to five years will fail to turn Australia’s greenhouse pollution around or help make the switch to a clean energy future for Australia.

“Climate change isn’t waiting, why should we? We need measures which turn Australia’s rising greenhouse pollution around from 2010 and set our economy up for the clean energy global economy of the 21st century.” Said Climate Institute Chief Executive, John Connor.

“To suggest that even further in setting targets ignores the fact that existing modelling shows the best path for the economy and the environment is decisive early action. More delay passes the economic burden to the next generation and increases the risks of more severe climate change impacts.”

“Over the last decade our greenhouse pollution levels have increased by 10% and a report which recommends yet more delay in setting targets and putting in place emissions trading is merely a smoke-screen. It’s now up to the Prime Minister to respond with a more decisive plan to cut greenhouse pollution.”

Analysis of the Government’s ABARE modelling by the CSIRO’s Energy Futures Forum1 which includes BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Westpac, WWF and ACOSS, show that strong economic growth is set to continue if we take action:

“Under all scenarios modelled, it is projected that both the Australian and world economies will continue to experience strong economic growth when carrying out greenhouse gas mitigation.”

The Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change2 found GDP continues to grow 2.1% pa with early action and increases from $0.8 trillion in 2005 to $2 trillion in 2050. This occurs while Australia reduces emissions by 60% by 2050.

“Earlier this week The Climate Institute released modelling on Australia’s electricity sector which The Institute had commissioned from McLennan Magasanik Associates (MMA) - one of Australia’s leading electricity sector modellers which showed the cheapest path was early action on emissions trading backed by clean energy target and a national energy efficiency plan.”

“Making the switch to clean energy and cutting our greenhouse pollution can place Australia in a leadership role for global efforts to protect the planet but also position Australia at the leading edge of the booming global clean energy market already worth $75 billion in 2005.”

“Importantly decisive action would set us on track to reduce emissions by 60-90% by 2050 as CSIRO recommends is required if we are to help avoid dangerous climate change.”

"The science is clear, the economics is clear. It’s time for decisive action, not more talk because delaying only increases the economic risks and the climate risks.” Said Mr Connor.

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