Senate Committee report a challenge to climate credibility of Coalition and ALP Media Release

Mar 27, 2014 - 10:58am

The Climate Institute welcomed the findings of the Senate Inquiry into the Government’s carbon pollution policy and its call for more credible reduction targets – a call both major parties will need to respond to by no later than May this year.

“We welcome the Senate Committee’s endorsement of the independent Climate Change Authority’s recommendation that a 2020 target of five per cent reduction below 2000 levels was not credible and that the target of 19 per cent reductions is more prudent economically,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.

“Current law requires the Government to respond to the Climate Change Authority’s recommendations on pollution caps before May 31 this year and that should be the deadline for the ALP to make up its mind as well.”

The Clean Energy Futures Act section 16 states that the Government must table regulations for five years of pollution caps from 1 July 2015 by May 31 2014.

“Both the Coalition and the ALP have supported pollution reduction targets of between 5 and 25 per cent by 2020 and this remains our formal commitment to the rest of the international community in global climate negotiations.”

“It was pleasing that Government as well as ALP and Green Senators recognised the international commitment in both main and dissenting reports.”

“Neither party can claim any climate credibility for their policies if they remain fixated on the minimum reduction effort required and not what is Australia’s fair share in achieving the internationally agreed climate goal of avoiding 2 degrees warming.”

“The Climate Institute’s view remains a 25 per cent reduction by 2020 with a 60 per cent reduction by 2030 on a path to a zero and ultimately below zero carbon economy in the second half of this century is required.”

“As one of the countries most exposed to climate risks it is in our national interest to establish credible targets.

“At the very least both the Government and ALP should adopt the Authority and the Committee’s  minimum 2020 target of 19 per cent reductions and, as a guide to commitments due to be shared with the international community by April next year, the 2030 range of 40 – 60 per cent reductions.”

“This Senate report, like the Climate Change Authority’s report, is a stark reminder that both major party’s climate policy credibility rest both on the outcomes sought and the mechanisms to achieve them. 

“The focus on the major parties minimum reduction targets is a focus on a sandpit far removed from the serious challenge of credible climate policy.”

“A carbon pollution policy without climate credibility is just a pollution policy,” concluded Connor. 

For more information

John Connor | CEO, The Climate Institute | 02 8239 6299
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