Senate squabbles spoil climate efforts Media Release

Jun 23, 2009 - 3:52pm

The Senate’s decision to delay consideration of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) until August further hinders low carbon investments and hurts Australia’s global credibility, said the independent Climate Institute today.

The Climate Institute urged senators to strengthen and pass the CPRS and urged the Government to build Australia’s credibility with clearer investment commitments to developing countries – key to reaching a global agreement.

“Stretching out the squabbles in the Senate on clean energy and low carbon industrial legislation like the renewable energy target and now the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme helps nobody,” said The Climate Institute CEO John Connor.

“Every day Parliament delays taking credible action on climate change, is a day lost in attracting billions of dollars of low-carbon investment, a day lost in strengthening and creating clean-energy industries, and a day lost in reducing the economic and tragic human costs of climate change.

“Effective domestic policies to reduce carbon pollution and drive low carbon industrial development are critical to building confidence in countries like China by showing that Australia and other rich countries are serious about addressing the climate change problem.

“We urge all parties to strengthen and pass the climate package that is needed to help promote business investment confidence, reduce carbon pollution and drive growth in jobs and industries in the new low-carbon economy, and build momentum towards an effective deal in Copenhagen.

"The CPRS could be strengthened directing future carbon permit revenues to additional investments into clean energy solutions here and in neighbouring developing economies whose prosperity is critical to our own.”

Australia and other developed nations agreed in Bali to support developing country actions with financing and technology transfer from developed countries.  Without this the conditions outlined by Australia for a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020 cannot be met – either politically or practically. Financing could come, for example, from domestic emissions trading schemes or international trading schemes for shipping and aviation fuels.

“International financing mechanisms to drive public and private sector investments are crucial to the success of global climate negotiations and it is time the Government and other political parties came forward with plans to drive low carbon industrial development around the world,” Mr Connor said.

“The Climate Institute will be redoubling its efforts to encourage all parties to stop political wrangling and to get on with urgent action to reduce pollution, to promote investment and jobs in the low-carbon economy, and achieve an effective global climate agreement.”

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