Jun 04, 2008 - 7:44am
The independent Climate Institute today broadly welcomed the
Garnaut Review’s draft report which lays bare the stark costs for
Australia of inaction on climate change and urged the Government to
focus on investment in clean energy and low carbon technologies in its
consideration of the report.
“If the Government responds with the
right policies, today, the fourth of July, would mark an important step
towards carbon independence day. Professor Garnaut’s report adds
urgency for Australia’s journey away from the fatal shores of our high
carbon economy, said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute.
“Arriving at a low carbon economy will require policies that create
powerful low carbon investment engines to grow the economy and jobs. The
Government’s industry focus needs to be on investment and support, not
compensation, to assist the transition of our economy to using clean
energy and low carbon technologies.”
“Any assistance for
generators or emissions intensive industries genuinely impacted by
emissions trading needs to be connected to supporting a transition to
clean energy and low carbon outcomes. We broadly support the draft
report’s comments in this regard.”
The Climate Institute broadly
welcomed the recommendations of the Review but expressed some concern
about proposals for a soft start to the emissions trading scheme (ETS).
suggestion to put an ETS on training wheels would require ramping up
other measures like clean energy incentives, energy efficiency reforms
and public transport investments.”
The Garnaut report is to be
followed in two weeks by the Government’s Green Paper and it is
important that the Government remains focussed on the big picture now
and throughout the year in preparation for the release of its detailed
response in December.
“Today marks the start of a critical phase
in our response to climate change and it’s important we remain focussed
on the main game, there are three key tests,” concluded Mr Connor.
Australia’s still-rising greenhouse pollution by 2012 - data released
last week showed continuing increases with the biggest spikes from
electricity generation, up 53 per cent between 1990-2006, and transport,
up 27.4 per cent during the same period. We should, and can, reverse
this trend by 2012 with reductions of at least 25 per cent on 1990
levels by 2020.
- Leadership to achieve an effective global
agreement - Australia can only help to achieve the global climate
agreement so vital to our long term national interest if we are
committing to reduce our emissions, but also signal that we will invest
in clean technology in developing countries and help them prepare for
unavoidable climate impacts. A guaranteed proportion of the emissions
trading revenues should be set aside for such assistance.
Australia competitive in the global low carbon economy - Meeting
emission reduction targets and building the clean-energy alternatives
will generate trillions of dollars of investment opportunities.
Australia needs policies to ensure all new electricity load generation
comes from clean energy and that support, not hinder, investment in
clean energy and low carbon technologies.