The new Senate should take stock before acting on uncertain climate policies Media Release

Jun 26, 2014 - 1:02pm

With continued uncertainty surrounding the exact implications of the proposals from the Palmer United Party, The Climate Institute today called on incoming Senators not to be rushed into a vote on repealing the carbon laws and to first allow for a review process.

“Even if we save the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Renewable Energy Target, which is good, the effect of the other proposals would see Australia’s pollution increasing with our biggest companies being returned to an entitlement to pollute for free,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute

“It would be disastrous to lose effective, functioning laws that price and reduce pollution precisely at the time when other countries are ramping up action. Each of the countries mentioned by Mr Palmer as indicators for action – the US, Europe, China, Japan and Korea – have carbon markets at regional or national levels, or are scaling them up. More importantly, they are focused on outcomes that limit and reduce carbon pollution.”

"The proposals from the Palmer United Party (PUP) remain a heady brew of the good, the uncertain and the ugly. However, we do face the imminent repeal of carbon laws, which are working and reducing pollution in a growing economy."

"The Climate Change Authority (CCA), an independent agency that the PUP has said it wants to protect, may be a key to better clarity and certainty out of the chaos currently ensnaring carbon policy in Australia. If we change anything, it should be to keep the price on carbon but reduce it, even if significantly, for this coming year while and allow the CCA a chance to conduct a careful review of the extent of international action, as countries gear up for next year’s global agreement.”

"The current laws are already working: pollution is down and our economy is growing, with the default mechanisms in the laws guaranteeing at least a 15 per cent reduction below 2000 levels by 2020."

“Losing a credible pollution reduction policy risks Australia increasing its economic carbon dependency as others reduce it, and it means losing influence or worse, guaranteeing hindrance, in international climate negotiations.”

“It should be recalled that the Coalition’s 2010 plan noted they would adjust their policies with evidence of international action and the Prime Minister in the pre-election debates repeated this was a promise that he would observe, even though he wasn't then confident of global action.”

“It is also important to note that the development today, the Energy Supply Association indicating that there will only be around $80-$200 savings for households’ energy bills that would come from repeal – far short of the $550 per household promised.”

“The new Senate should take stock before being rushed into a repeal which would have Australia the first country in the world to dismantle a carbon market and return to companies an entitlement to pollute our atmosphere for free,” concluded Connor.

The Climate Institute with former head of the Liberal Party John Hewson on Sunday launched its Stop the Dinosaurs campaign, urging the Senate to vote against repeal of the carbon laws, which are working and reducing pollution in a growing economy.  
For more information

Kristina Stefanova , Communications Director, The Climate Institute. 02 8239 6299

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