New Laws Are a Vital Cog in Pollution Reduction Machinery Media Release

Nov 08, 2011 - 11:56am

The Climate Institute welcomed today’s historic passage of the Clean Energy Future Legislation through the Senate, describing the legislation as a vital cog in Australia’s pollution reduction machinery able to help reduce Australia’s pollution impacts by around a billion tonnes.

“Australia now has laws which not only put a price on carbon pollution but also limits, with legislated minimum reductions from 2015,” said The Climate Institute’s CEO, John Connor.

“This is a vital cog in Australia’s pollution reduction machinery with the potential to help cut around 1 billion tonnes of carbon pollution from the atmosphere between next year and 2020.”*

“The challenge now is to realise that potential by making it work to boost global action and to make it work with other policies to ensure Australia turns the corner towards low carbon prosperity.” 

“This vote means Australia now brings greater credibility going into international climate negotiations starting later this month in South Africa.  It also puts wind in the sails of other jurisdictions about to introduce, or considering, emissions trading schemes which similarly price and limit carbon pollution.

Europe is expanding its scheme. California has a scheme staring next year. China, South Korea and now South Africa are piloting schemes or giving them active consideration. 

“Australia’s actions at the UN talks in Durban will be keenly watched to see how our nation uses its enhanced credibility on issues like the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period, global accounting rules and financing cleaner development and adaptation works in neighbouring poor nations.”   

“The new legislation rightly allows use of credible global pollution reduction investments to help reduce the pollution impacts of Australian industry and to boost global solutions to a global problem.

“But shifting Australia to lower carbon prosperity will need more. It will require ongoing vigorous action on, and rigorous monitoring of, other elements of the agreement by the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change.  These include the National Energy Savings Initiative, carbon farming and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.”

“In addition, we need to ensure policies and investment in both the public and private sectors transparently and effectively connect with solutions to develop the technologies, skills and jobs so crucial to reducing our economy’s dependence on carbon pollution.”

“The Climate Institute is dedicated to working with all parties to make these laws work to help boost global ambition and help the Australian economy make the shift,” concluded Mr Connor.

*Cutting Australia’s predicted 2020 pollution level so that it meets the bipartisan targets of 5 to 25 per cent below 2000 levels would cumulatively reduce Australia’s pollution impact by between 681 million and 1.1 billion tonnes between 2012 and 2020.  Both the Government and the Coalition link stronger reductions to levels of global action.  The Act requires the Minister to make a decision in 2015 based on a 2014 recommendation from the Climate Change Authority. 

For further information and interviews: 
John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299
Giulia Baggio | Communications Director, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299

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