Jul 16, 2008 - 12:53pm
It’s a good but not great day in Australia’s battle against
Climate Change, the independent Climate Institute said after the release
of the Government’s Green Paper.
“There are good elements to this
scheme but the Government has fallen short at a few hurdles – namely
the treatment of petrol, lack of support for developing countries and
unclear incentives in investment in low-pollution technology,” said
Climate Institute CEO John Connor.
“We welcome the fact that the
scheme is to start in 2010 and that it will move to a full auctioning of
permits. There is also a good and clear focus on support for low-income
“What is not welcome is ripping out billions of dollars
from the Climate Change Action Fund by reducing the petrol excise and
it’s very unlikely this will ever be replaced. This means losing key
funds to invest in areas such as public transport.
Professor Garnaut warned it also sent the wrong signal to consumers and
business at a time when there was a need to become more fuel efficient.
is also of concern that there are no clear signals that this scheme
will assist investment in clean technologies in neighbouring developing
countries which is so critical, not only to avoiding climate change, but
also to our future economic prosperity.
“Proposals to benchmark
performance of trade exposed industries that are given free permits are
welcomed but the benchmark needs to be against world’s best practice,
not against the Australian industry average. The scope of any
assistance to be provided to generators will need to come under very
“It’s important to acknowledge that to be starting
an emissions trading scheme in just under two years this is a
significant step forward but the targets and details will be critical to
the final judgement,” said Mr Connor.