Now to make the CPRS a springboard not a gangplank Media Release

Nov 25, 2009 - 11:00am

The independent Climate Institute today expressed its opposition to extra assistance for big polluters but said it was time for climate action and time to support immediate passage of the Government and Liberal agreement on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

“Now is the time to move on and ensure this legislation is a springboard for ambitious global action and improved Australian carbon competitiveness, not a gangplank to drown global action or leave Australia in the backwaters of the growing global low carbon economy,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.

“There are no risk or cost free options in front of us and this has been a difficult decision to take.”

“Faced with more and more political attention being put on dinosaurs in business and politics seeking delays or special treatment, versus greater critical attention on what the Government is actually doing to help achieve an effective global agreement and ensure a fast and fair transition to a low carbon economy, we choose action.”

“Passage of the CPRS legislation will allow Australians to focus on Government efforts in the lead up to global negotiations in Copenhagen and beyond and keeping open the achievement of the more credible at least 25% reductions on 2000 carbon pollution levels by 2020.”

“The Australian debate has been fixated on the 5 per cent target range and not at the upper end of the range of ambition supported by both major parties under comparable global efforts.

“Our analysis is that the Government’s conditions for a 15 per cent target are likely to have been met and that the conditions for 25 per cent, while challenging, are still possible to be achieved in coming months and years.”

“The CPRS legislation now contains provisions for reviews of the legislation and the need for assistance for big polluting exporters under these scenarios which could allow for more rapid investment of permit revenue into what it should have been focused on.”

“As even the mining industry has acknowledged overnight the stronger the agreement the more level the playing field for exporters and both major parties have acknowledged that a strong agreement is in our national interest.”

“Getting a strong global agreement requires stronger action and commitments to an effective agreement including commitments for investment assistance to help developing countries efforts to protect forests, adapt to climate change and deploy clean technologies that will help their, and our, growth.”

“We also now need urgent domestic attention to the range of energy efficiency, clean energy, clean technology and agricultural policies that will unlock all of Australia’s many opportunities to prosper in the emerging global clean energy economy.

“It’s time to implement the CPRS and use it as a springboard, not a gangplank,” concluded Mr Connor.

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