Myth Busters Delivered to MPs on Eve of Parliamentary Debate on Pollution Price and Limits Media Release

Sep 11, 2011 - 1:27pm

The independent Climate Institute has launched a new Myth Busters series and mailed the Top 5 to all 225 Members of Parliament on the eve of debate on the Clean Energy Future legislation.

Institute CEO, John Connor, said the mother of all scare campaigns had left many Australians and probably a few politicians confused and wrongly forecasting economic doom and gloom.

“We have launched these new Myth Busters to correct the record. Australia is a big polluter. We can have significant pollution reduction while growing jobs. Australia is at no risk of leading the world in taking action.”

“Instead, taking decisive action now will open up new clean energy opportunities, creating up to 34,000 new jobs in the electricity sector alone by 2030, and ensure our industries remain globally competitive as the world switches to cleaner energy and cleaner economies.

“It’s time for our politicians to stop the squabbling and remove the sensationalism that has dominated this issue and get on with a mature debate on the challenges and opportunities of taking action.”

“We’ve written to all MPs, providing them with a package of ‘Myth Busters’ to set the record straight on pricing and limiting pollution, and the real implications and opportunities for Australia.”

Each MP has been sent a package of five ‘Myth Busters’:

1. MYTH: Australia is not a significant polluter so there is no need for us to act.

  • FACT: Australia is the world’s 15th largest total emitter and has the highest amount of emissions per person among the major polluters. Whilst Australia accounts for around 1.5 per cent of global emissions, our total pollution levels are comparable to those of Mexico, United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, France and the Ukraine. This is despite the fact all of these nations have populations at least twice that of Australia.

2. MYTH: A price on pollution will not do anything to help the environment. 
  • FACT: A price on pollution will make new cleaner energy technologies relatively cheaper than older dirtier sources. As products and services made from cleaner energy sources become cheaper, businesses and households will change their investment and purchasing decisions to save money, meaning the Australian economy will increasingly rely on cleaner energy sources like gas, solar and wind. Over time, this will decrease the amount of carbon pollution Australia produces. Combined with the action of other countries this can help avoid accelerating climate change.

3. MYTH: A pollution price will see the demise of mining and other sectors. There will be massive job losses.
  • FACT: Pollution reduction and jobs growth are not mutually exclusive. All credible studies show strong employment growth under a pollution price and in the transition to a low carbon economy. It’s estimated we’ll see an additional 1.6 million jobs between now and 2020 whilst cutting pollution by at least 159 million tonnes. Even the coal industry is expected to see between 10,000-16,000 new mining jobs above 2008 levels.

4. MYTH: Other countries aren’t acting so why should Australia move ahead of the rest of the world?
  • FACT: All major economies are acting on climate change, driving clean energy investment and developing new green industries. There is absolutely no risk of Australia moving ahead of the rest of the world; the far greater risk is that Australia gets left behind.

5. MYTH: If you have a pollution price then you don’t need other clean energy measures.
  • FACT: A pollution price is central to how we begin to effectively address carbon pollution levels; however, it’s not the only policy measure we need to undertake. Complementary policies, that drive renewable energy development, promote energy efficiency and promote farm sector solutions, also need to be an important part of Australia’s holistic and lower cost response to climate change.
The full set of ‘Myth Busters’ is available below. 

For further information: 
John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299
Tom Laurie | Communications, The Climate Institute | 03 9600 4039

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