Nov 09, 2011 - 2:46pm
Say YES 'Time Capsule' speech, Canberra, 8 November 2011.
John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute
Fellow citizens, it’s evolution time!
Some two and a half years ago The Climate Institute stood here with representatives of the workers, the ACTU.
With those representing the less well off, the Australian Council of Social Service.
With those representing the environment movement with the Australian Conservation Foundation and World Wildlife Fund for Nature.
We stood here amidst a pack of dinosaurs seeking to put off the evolution.
We said then that it was time for Australia to evolve, time to evolve into a clean energy and low carbon future, time to evolve with tools like a renewable energy target and a price and limit on carbon pollution.
Well we achieved the renewable energy target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 and that still has multi-party support today and that is welcome.
But the dinosaurs and others meant that we postponed that part of evolution that included a price and a limit on carbon pollution.
Today in the Senate, Australia has just passed into law a legislative package that achieves just that.
The legislation is part of a broader package, a better package.
A package that includes $10 billion extra incentives for clean energy investments.
Millions of dollars of opportunities for regional Australians and carbon farming and, if we get cracking with the National Energy Savings Initiative, millions and millions of dollars of savings for businesses and households on their energy bills with helping them be smarter with their energy use.
But critically we have now a price and a limit on carbon pollution and that is a vital cog in new pollution reduction machinery.
This is pollution reduction machinery that can reduce the impact of Australia’s carbon pollution between 2012 and 2020 by around 100 billion tonnes.
With this package Australia can prosper and be competitive in the emerging global low carbon economy.
With this package Australia can help by playing its full and fair share in international effort to tackle climate change.
We place this marker and this time capsule today as a marker of the efforts and achievements of all of you here and of many thousands across Australia.
But we also place this marker here today also to hold all of us accountable for our actions from today to make sure we maximize and achieve the full potential of this package.
I hope in 2050 to be at the re-opening of this capsule standing here with my kids, my grandkids and hey, even possibly my great grandkids and to be able to look back with pride at what we all have achieved today.
Let the evolution begin!