PM Needs to act on low-carbon led recovery at G20 Media Release

Mar 31, 2009 - 9:41am

Prime Minister Rudd should join other world leaders seeking to ensure the G20 push for an international economic strategy responds to both the global economic and climate crises, the Climate Institute said today releasing a briefing paper G20 and the Low Carbon Recovery.

“Smart economic stimulus packages and climate change policies can produce double or even triple dividends – lower carbon pollution, immediate job and economic growth in clean energy and climate friendly industries, and; lower energy costs and greater energy security,” said John Connor, CEO of the independent Climate Institute.

“The G20 presents the Prime Minister an opportunity to join with other world leaders in responding to the economic crisis and climate change by creating Australian clean energy jobs."

Late last week the German Government released a report Towards a Global Green Recovery specifying seven strategic areas in which the G20 countries could cooperate more closely on concrete projects. The report was in part a response to the UK Government highlighting that the environmental implications of the fiscal measures taken by the G20 need to be considered.

The report, co-authored by Lord Nicholas Stern, warned of history repeating itself if investments decisions made today were geared purely toward short-term profits at expense of managing long-term risks when he said:

…once the world economy recovers, sharply increasing energy prices are likely at some stage to trigger subsequent slowdowns.  Without the transition towards a low-carbon global energy system, the next economic crisis is pre-programmed.

Since hosting a meeting on G20 and climate change in February, Australia and the Prime Minister appear to have focused on other matters. G20 and the Low Carbon Recovery recommends the Prime Minister work within the G20 to ensure outcomes including commitments to:

  • A well targeted and low carbon recovery in jobs and investment prioritising low carbon investments in new stimulus packages. These should be guided by targets for developed nations as a group reducing 1990 levels of emissions by 25 to 40%, alongside global efforts that has global emissions declining by 2020. Investment incentives include emission trading systems; renewable energy obligations; energy efficiency programs; low-carbon technology research development and demonstration.
  • Develop Proposals for International Low Carbon Financing Mechanisms with a Task Force of finance and other relevant ministries to develop practical proposals for the global climate negotiations on the required quantity, sources, mechanisms and governance.
  • Avoid systematic “sub-clime” risks in economies due to climate change by including in the overhaul of financial regulations: increased disclosure of the climate risks of portfolio holdings; greater accountability for long term outcomes reflected in remuneration packages, and; ensuring investment mandates better reward management of climate change risk and opportunity.

“By taking decisive action at home and abroad the Prime Minister can help achieve an effective global climate agreement and climate action that can grow jobs right now in clean energy and other low carbon industries,” concluded Mr Connor 

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