New global economic and diplomatic climate realities call for a plan to come clean Media Release

Oct 13, 2016 - 7:15am

Australia is again under sharp international scrutiny on its economic and emissions plans*, highlighting the continuing gulf between economic, energy and climate plans, The Climate Institute said today. Implementing a plan for net zero emissions is the only answer.

“We welcome the Australian government’s commitment to the Paris climate agreement for net zero emissions,” said CEO of The Climate institute, John Connor.

“However, the government is not coming clean with Australians or the international community on its plans to reduce emissions in the short and the long-term. As countries move to implement the Paris Agreement to achieve net zero emissions, countries are going to continue to ask Australia how we are transitioning from an economy rooted in 20th century technologies, overly dependent on coal power, to one that is modern, smart and clean.”

Connor said the process of other countries asking questions of one another afforded Australia the opportunity to keep track of other countries’ actions. To be a credible player in this process means we should be clear about how we are reducing emissions in return.

"This isn't just about other countries wanting to know how Australia is going to meet its responsibilities under international agreements. The scrutiny Australia is under is an example of the new global reality. The world is moving inexorably into a future that will be driven by clean energy," Connor said.

In just over two months, Australia will be embarking on a 2017 review of its climate and clean energy policies and has committed internationally to consider a longer-term post 2030 targets in that review. Other countries including the US, Canada and the UK are developing mid-century plans.

“It is time to start moving beyond negative, finger pointing mindsets that ignore new global realities. It is time to start delivering a credible, durable and investment grade climate and energy policy framework. This will not only provide reassurance to the international community, but for business, investors and our economy at home.

“For the first time in almost a decade, the 2017 review offers the opportunity to deliver us an effective bipartisan action plan on energy and climate change. The community, business and state and local governments are ready to support it.”

He said that if the appropriate policies and actions were not delivered in response to growing international trends, our country risks being economically disadvantaged and mired in political and retrograde ideological squabbles for at least another half decade.

"Some have failed to grasp that the world has moved on. Clean technology costs have dropped 41 to 94 per cent since 2008. The 2009 disappointments of the Copenhagen climate talks have been replaced by the focus of the Paris agreement coming into force next month. Those that want to re-live scare campaigns of recent years and last century need to realise the world has moved on,"

*As reported yesterday, Australia is facing serious questions in transparency processes about the credibility of domestic climate policies as part of the process towards the forthcoming international climate meeting in Morrocco on November 12. John Connor will be attending the meeting.

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Brinsley Marlay ● Media Manager ● 0422 140 555
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