Jul 30, 2008 - 11:39am
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 11:39
The Climate Institute today welcomed the move by Brendan Nelson
and the Coalition to step back from a climate policy deep freeze, but
said all parties needed to back strong pollution reduction and
investment targets as Australia is itself a major emitter – ranked in
the top 20.
“The outcome achieved by Brendan
Nelson is welcomed. It keeps the Coalition in play and potentially puts
them back in step with the majority of voters, and the investment
community, who recognise delaying action on climate change is risky and
costly for Australia,” said Climate Institute CEO John Connor.
“What we need to see now is a focus from all parties on supporting
strong targets on pollution reduction and clean technology investment.
“Without strong targets we risk a ‘Clayton’s climate policy’ which
won’t turn around our rising pollution, won’t give greater certainty for
clean technology investors, and won’t allow us to be a positive player
in the global climate talks so vital to Australia’s national interest.”
The Climate Institute highlighted how the coalition’s language about
waiting to see what “major emitters” do, conveniently seems to forget
that in fact Australia is itself a major emitter.
“Under Prime Ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd Australia has been
participating in the Major Emitters Meetings reflecting the
uncomfortable home truth that Australia is a member of the top twenty
polluters on the planet and has a responsibility to act,” Mr Connor
Both the Shergold Report (p20) and
the Garnaut Review’s Draft Report highlight that Australia is amongst
the top 20 emitters in global negotiations. (See Figure 4.1 below from
“As both a developed country and a member of the
major emitters club we have a responsibility to signal well in advance
of the Copenhagen talks next year that we are prepared to act and shift
from our high carbon, high polluting and highly inefficient economy.
Doing so will help build momentum and trust in global climate talks,” Mr
“As a developed country with
the technical expertise to be competitive in the emerging global
low-carbon economy we risk jobs, investment and future prosperity if we
retreat to the sidelines in both economic reform and global climate