Time to show climate credentials to achieve clean energy future Media Release

Jun 14, 2008 - 6:06am

Climate talks in Bonn have ended with Australia and many other countries needing to demonstrate much greater urgency and detail, for example the percentage of emissions trading revenue to be dedicated to global climate investments, to help achieve next years deadline, according to the independent Climate Institute.

“These climate talks have concluded amidst mounting concern, but not yet panic, about the ability of world leaders to conclude a global agreement by end of 2009 as agreed in Bali” said Climate Institute CEO, John Connor from Bonn.

The two weeks of talks in Bonn marked quarter time on the Bali Action Plan and was the first major gathering of the parties since last December’s meeting there.

“There was a bright opening when a number of countries put forward good ideas - particularly on how to help finance preparedness for the impacts of unavoidable climate change, avoid deforestation and to drive radically increased investment in clean technology.”

“However, in what can at best be described as a sign of serious intent from all parties, the second week saw the talks almost grind to a halt as old arguments, new obstructions and dodgy ways to cook the books, were introduced,” said Mr Connor.

“In the end all parties agreed that a new spirit of commitment and urgency will be needed to reach the shared desire for a global agreement.  It sure will.”

“Australia can help this by signalling that it will do its fair share by dedicating a significant amount of its emissions trading revenue into ensuring developing countries build clean energy infrastructure and help prepare them for the impacts of unavoidable climate change.”

“Next month’s Emissions Trading Legislation Green Paper needs to provide detail on this investment priority as well as the other delivering on other policy priorities of ensuring energy affordability for low income and affected households, and switching Australia’s economy to clean energy.”

“Let’s be clear – developing countries will not make necessary commitments to action without investment confidence and commitments to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions

This week in Tokyo the Prime Minister was reported as saying ‘We must be ambitious. We need to aim for a global regime that will deliver real action on climate change based on credible actions by developed and developing countries … there are irreversible consequences if we fail’".

“To help deliver that regime, Australia needs to provide detail and proof of that ambition in the shape of guaranteed emissions reductions and clean energy investment streams,” concluded Mr Connor.

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