Last ditch bit to stop the dinosaurs from killing the carbon & renewables laws Media Release

Jun 22, 2014 - 12:00pm

Alongside life-sized dinosaur puppets, former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson, Co-Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition Lucy Manne, and CEO of The Climate Institute John Connor today launched a communications campaign urging Parliament to take note of key facts and save the carbon and renewable energy laws. 

“The aim of this campaign is to awaken Australians, including all politicians, to the facts that after two years, our carbon and renewable energy laws are working: pollution is down, the economy has grown, prices have been contained, and our energy system is getting cleaner with increased wind and solar power,” said Connor. 

“But these laws are now under threat. Those who attack them would take us back in time to the days when big polluters could pollute for free, and instead want to shift the burden of pollution reduction to taxpayers.” 

“We’re on the verge of discarding an effective, functioning system that can achieve the up to 25 per cent pollution reduction commitments that Australia has promised internationally, and replace it with an uncertain taxpayer-backed fund with no demonstrated capability of meeting even the minimum target of 5 per cent by 2020.”

The Stop the Dinosaurs launch comes on the eve of the Government’s next attempt to repeal the carbon laws, with the new Senate likely to consider repeal in early July. 

“From 2010 to 2012, Australians were subject to a historic scare campaign about the impacts of the carbon laws, but it is quite clear now that these laws are not a ‘wrecking ball’ or ‘python squeeze’,” said former Liberal Party leader Dr John Hewson. 

“The fact is that since the carbon laws were enacted, Australia’s pollution has been reduced by millions of tonnes and the economy has grown. Average households are not worse off as many feared they could be.”

“I can understand that the Abbott Government would claim a mandate to abolish the carbon tax, but one of the tragedies of the Government’s proposed alternative policy is that it shifts the burden of pollution reduction from polluters to taxpayers at a time when we are told the Budget is in crisis.” 

The communication campaign is backed by the Government’s own analysis that pollution has been reduced by millions of tonnes and that repeal will drop prices by a fraction of one per cent. Other independent research has found that electricity emissions in the National Electricity Market (NEM) have fallen by 10 per cent since the carbon laws were introduced. In the NEM renewables have increased by 37 per cent, while brown coal declined 14 per cent and black coal by 7 per cent. 

This data is outlined in a Media Brief on the carbon laws’ effectiveness to date prepared by The Climate Institute. 

"Young Australians want to see ambitious reductions in carbon pollution and a transition to a clean energy economy - but right now dinosaurs are standing in the way of a sustainable future," said Co-Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition Lucy Manne. 

“The default carbon cap within the current laws will reduce Australia’s pollution by at least 12 million tonnes a year, achieving a 2020 target of 15 per cent below 2000 levels— what the independent Climate Change Authority has recommended. Yet the Government has provided no analysis to prove that its policy will actually lower national pollution.”

Connor concluded: “This project to stop the dinosaurs is our part of our final plea to all parliamentarians to consider the facts before they repeal the carbon laws. It’s OK to like dinosaurs—but it’s just too dangerous to vote like one.

Stop the Dinosaurs is a digital, radio and print campaign seeking further crowd funding support. 

For more information 

 Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299

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