Welcome aboard the carbon and clean energy rollercoaster, Minister! Media Release

Jul 01, 2013 - 10:00am

The Climate Institute today welcomed the new Climate Change Minister, Mark Butler, and called on the Rudd Government to make a fresh call for ambition on climate action, focus on energy efficiency and climate resilience, and confirm its support for the legislated Renewable Energy Target.
“The Climate Institute welcomes Mark Butler to the carbon pollution and clean energy rollercoaster in his role as Minister for Environment and Climate Change,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. 
“The Minister takes on the role at a time when as pollution from our energy sector is falling, clean energy is growing, and on the anniversary of carbon laws, which have not had the economic impact many claimed. He starts at a time of rising climate and clean energy action in the United States, China and around the globe.”

“As I said at the time of the recent portfolio restructure, climate change is no longer the province of just one Minister – it is a matter across the whole Government.” 
“We are looking to Prime Minister Rudd to re-affirm Australia will continue to strengthen its global climate leadership, build on renewable energy laws and pick up pace in areas such as energy productivity and resilience to growing climate impacts.” 
“Policy and public debate in this area has been a rollercoaster, and is likely to be for many years to come, but it is emerging from a fog of fear mongering and fiction we can avoid in the future.”

On the anniversary of the carbon laws, The Climate Institute released a factsheet highlighting that: 
  • Australia’s economic growth had continued with a 2.5 per cent growth, the envy of the developed world; 
  • Inflation has grown less than the forecast 0.7 per cent, adding only 0.4 per cent to date, according to Westpac; 
  • Energy from renewable sources such as hydro, wind and solar has risen by 23 per cent in 12 months; and
  • Revenue from the carbon price has been going to work leveraging millions of dollars of investment in clean energy, carbon farming and energy efficiency.

The Climate Institute gives conditional support to fast tracking the emissions trading part of the carbon laws. 
“Emissions trading puts not just a price, but also a limit, on carbon pollution. Any decision to bring it forward a year should come with a statement of increased ambition, strengthened domestic policy and a continued integral role for the independent Climate Change Authority.” 
“As the Prime Minister noted in Parliament on Thursday, with global action increasing, climate change is now as much of a competitiveness issue for Australia, as one about our national climate interest,” concluded Connor.

The Climate Institute will shortly release its initial assessment of significant parties’ policies against key climate priorities, detailed in its policy brief Managing the Unavoidable while Avoiding the Unmanageable.

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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