Time to boost action on climate, carbon and energy productivity Media Release

Jun 27, 2013 - 2:08pm

The vastly changed global backdrop provides opportunities for greater climate action and ambition for both Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, said The Climate Institute today, as it urged both to lift their party policies on cutting pollution, accelerating low carbon investment and preparing for climate impacts. 
“Whether by design or default,  we can no longer pretend this is a debate still in the shadows of the confusion following the 2009 UN Copenhagen meeting and when it was unclear what nations such as the US and China would do, if anything,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. 
“This has been highlighted in recent weeks, as China and the US are now both racing for the opportunities in the emerging global low carbon economy. The US in particular has also stepped up its preparation for climate impacts that are already costing it dearly.”

“China has started the first of what was expected to be seven – and now potentially nine - pilot emissions trading schemes amidst a range of other clean energy incentives.” 
“President Obama has come out with various regulatory and policy initiatives after Congress frustrated his calls for a cap and trade carbon market similar to that in place here. Obama’s plan also focused on boosting international action and preparing for unavoidable climate impacts.” 

Connor added: “At home we approach the one year anniversary of the Clean Energy Future Act with economic growth continuing and cost impacts less than feared.”

“Now is the time for greater, not less ambition, as we move closer to an emissions trading scheme that limits as well as prices carbon pollution.” 
“Now is the time to build on the targets in renewable energy legislation first introduced by Prime Minister Howard and strengthened under Prime Minister Rudd.” 
“Now is time to also step up in areas overshadowed by the carbon laws debate, such as energy efficiency and our own preparation for climate impacts.”

“Australia should establish policies to achieve a target of improving our relatively poor energy productivity by 30 per cent by 2020. We should also implement a disclosure framework and action in readiness for the climate impacts of both 2 and 4 degree warming above pre-industrial levels.” 
The Climate Institute will shortly release its initial assessment of significant parties’ policies against priorities, as detailed in its policy brief Managing the Unavoidable while Avoiding the Unmanageable
”While Australia has slugged out its intense domestic battles over the carbon laws the world, including US and China, have been getting on with carbon pollution and clean energy action. It’s now time for us to move to boost action on climate as well as carbon and energy productivity,” concluded Connor.

For more information                                                                  

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

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