Pressure now on government and opposition for credible targets Media Release

Sep 30, 2009 - 1:06pm

The Garnaut Review team has clearly challenged both the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull to support an emissions reduction target range that includes a 25% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020 and demonstrated that the economic costs for households are manageable.

“Professor Garnaut has provided unequivocal and urgent evidence that it is in Australia’s national interest to commit to emissions reductions of at least 25 per cent by 2020, and that we should be prepared to go there,” said John Connor, Climate Institute CEO.

“This is a clear message that the target range in the December White Paper should include the 25% by 2020 reduction target, a target backed by the country’s top climate scientists on Monday.

“The Garnaut Review report also shows that the economic costs of reducing emissions are manageable and the Government cannot afford to gamble with Australia’s future prosperity by acting on the inflated demands of some of the country’s biggest polluters.

 “In fact Climate Institute analysis of the treasury modeling in the Review shows that under the two ‘action’ scenarios average households will be better off.”

Under the scenario of 450ppm, average incomes rise by $106 a week.  Under business as usual, or no action on climate change, incomes rise by $118 but, if followed by other countries, we leave a legacy of catastrophic economic and environmental impacts for future generations

Taking tough action on climate change sees electricity prices increase by $8 a week in 2020, compared with no action. However, this price rise is more than offset by income growth and households are still better off under the 450ppm scenario.  Other costs will not go close to erasing this net improvement.

 “As Professor Garnaut has highlighted, it will be a tough road to an effective global agreement but now is not the time to quit on the Great Barrier Reef, the economic viability of the Murray Darling or on avoiding dangerous runaway climate change and the safety and prosperity of future generations.”

“The spotlight now falls squarely on the Government and the Opposition and the need for bipartisan support for scientifically and internationally credible targets,” concluded Mr Connor.

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