Carbon Laws: End of pollution free ride, now to the climate risks Media Release

Jul 01, 2012 - 1:00am

The start of the carbon laws marks the historic end of a free ride for carbon emitters, said The Climate Institute today.

"Today marks the end of an overdrawn free ride with some of Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitters starting to take responsibility and pay for their carbon pollution,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.    

“A carbon price is not the end point, it is a start. We now need to work for smarter, cleaner, healthier economic development in Australia and do our bit with other countries that are acting to build further global ambition and action."    

"We need to do this if we are to avoid the climate risks to which Australia is so exposed.”  

Earlier this week, The Climate Institute released two factsheets on the Yawning gap between carbon price fears and impacts and a Snapshot of country climate change action. The first details food and energy price impacts (with examples on milk, bread, lamb and vegetables). The second details national policies including those of China and India. These include national targets, carbon prices, renewable energy targets and emission standards that have been set by other major economies and emitters.

"Estimates from the Australian National University, Professor Garnaut and The Climate Institute have Australia's fair share of existing global action at 10 per cent or greater reductions, and at least 25 per cent to help achieve globally agreed global warming goals,” said Connor.

"The reality is, even though much more needs to be done, many countries around the world are acting because of concern for climate change impacts, energy security and air pollution.”

"Australia’s policies need to be flexible to lift to the fair share of current global action as well as to the fair share of globally agreed goals.”  

He added: “The fact that the Coalition and the ALP share reduction commitments of up to 25 per cent dependent on global action has been as lost on the debate as the reality of moderate consumer price impacts from the reforms."

“The independent target-setting process with the Climate Change Authority boosting targets beyond the minimum 5 per cent is a transparent and flexible process which The Climate Institute will be tracking closely.” 

"The Coalition should provide further details on how their Emissions Reduction Fund, carbon price penalty and climate policy will work and have ‘flexibility to adapt to changes in global developments’.”

"Both the Coalition and the ALP should show they are fair dinkum by accepting a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol by the end of the year which maintains flexibility in their ambition.”

For more information

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

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


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