Government sets Australia on collision course with climate change Media Release

Jul 03, 2007 - 10:00am

Australia’s carbon debt will continue to balloon unless the Prime Minister moves forward with a more decisive response to climate change, according to The Climate Institute.

“Without targets to reduce emissions no climate change policy has credibility. The Australian public, Australian investors and Australia’s environment all need a target to ensure their future security and certainty.” John Connor, Climate Institute Chief Executive, said today.

“The Prime Minister’s response to his Emissions Trading Task Group is one of yet further delay. Climate change is not waiting so why are we?”

“Unless we act decisively Australia will remain in the shadow of the 21st century global clean energy economy worth $75 billion in 2005 and expected to grow to over a $225 billion a year industry within a decade.”

“While the Prime Minister stressed economic issues in his address today, the reality is thatAustralia’s economy is at much greater long term risk if decisive action is not taken immediately.

“Climate Institute energy and economic modelling has shown that an early and effective price signal on carbon matched with clean energy targets and energy efficiency will ease the economic costs and limit the price increases for consumers and industry.

“The measures outlined by Prime Minister will not meet the targets that have been set by Australia’s best scientists. CSIRO advised the Prime Minister’s Task Group that countries like Australia must cut emissions by 60-90% by 2050 if dangerous climate change is to be avoided.

“Let’s remember what is at stake here if the world follows this path of delay. We risk locking into at least 3 degrees of warming which would devastate the Barrier Reef, halve the flow of water in to the Murray and result in the extra deaths of 3000 to 5000 Australians every year from heat stress.
“The Australian economy is on a collision course with climate change. More droughts, water shortages, health impacts and loss of natural assets and agricultural productivity will mean serious job losses and serious economic impact.

“Without genuine measures to tackle climate change now we will be bequeathing to our grand children a huge carbon debt whose economic and environmental consequences will be massive,” Mr Connor said.

“We urge the Prime Minister to act more decisively, set clear targets for when our greenhouse pollution will start to fall, ensure all new electricity generation is clean energy and have Australia leading, not lagging, the world in cutting energy waste.

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