New powerful climate alliance to drive tough and fair solutions Media Release

Jul 07, 2008 - 6:37am

For the first time peak social, union, research and environmental organisations have formed an historic and powerful alliance to tackle climate change.

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition – launching today, is pushing for climate policy to be fairly implemented and maximise the opportunities for investment and jobs growth whilst emphasising that all sections of society have an urgent responsibility to act.

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition is an alliance of the Climate Institute, The Australian Conservation Foundation, The Australian Council of Social Service, and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said “Our groups share a platform that seeks to ensure climate policies are broadly based and everyone does their fair bit at time when we know the Rudd Government faces a legion of corporate lobbyists pushing for special deals.’

“We need to protect vulnerable families and trade exposed industries but we also need to recognise that green jobs and climate friendly industries provide Australia with economic opportunities,” she continued.

The SCCC platform recommends realistic actions based on four pillars of urgency, fairness, investment and jobs growth and is urging the Prime Minister to:

  • Stand his ground against special pleading from certain sections of industry
  • Take the call for urgent action from Garnaut to the G8 next week
  • Do everything possible to get a broadly based emissions trading scheme fully implemented by 2010

John Connor, Director of the Climate Institute said “Switching the global economy to a low carbon pathway will create multi-trillion dollar markets for low carbon and clean energy technologies and infrastructure.  Australia needs to ensure that it is competitive in this global low carbon economy. The reality is that every year we don’t act, the economic opportunity cost grows.”

Gregor Macfie, Acting CEO, ACOSS said "Climate change will affect low income households disproportionately. In shaping our responses we must ensure that low-income households are able to benefit from new opportunities and are shielded from price hikes for essential goods and services. We must ensure that low income households are a real part of our solution to this serious issue."

Don Henry, Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation said “The time we have for an orderly transition is running out, climate change is occurring more rapidly than anticipated and every day of delay will make the job of cutting emissions harder.”

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