Clarification regarding comments by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Media Statement by John Connor

Apr 24, 2015 - 11:33am

Last night on the 7.30 Report and this morning on ABC Radio National the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change the Hon. Greg Hunt made comments directly and indirectly concerning The Climate Institute.


During his interview with Leigh Sales on 7.30 Report the Minister said:


"And even The Climate Institute today, I spoke with their leader, John Connor, acknowledged that whilst they have different views on mechanisms, that the process was outstanding and that the individual projects are really fine examples of emissions reduction, which is very different to the pink batts, green loans, cash for clunkers and then the carbon tax experiment which failed to reduce emissions, but cost Australians $15 billion under the previous government. There's a legacy of failure and a present success."


Our comments on the outcomes are on the public record in yesterday’s release “Auction results put the spotlight on the ERF's weaknesses” here


In a telephone conversation, I did say to the Minister that this has been a professionally conducted auction and that the projects were positive in themselves but that they were marginal to the core task of cleaning up our power and industrial system, much of which is more carbon polluting intensive than other advanced countries’.


At no time did I use the word “outstanding” or make any reference to "pink batts, green loans, cash for clunkers and then the carbon tax".  I was, however, calling it straight on the process for what it was.


This morning  in her introduction to an interview with the Minister, RN Breakfast presenter Ellen Fanning included the analysis in yesterday’s comments that the auction used 25 per cent of the currently available Emissions Reduction Fund budget for 15 per cent of the emissions required for the government’s minimum reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. The Minister responded by saying:


"Those [figures are from] those that are completely associated with ALP.”


The Climate Institute is an independent and non-partisan research organisation, which does not have any political affiliation but does have former members of both Liberal and Labor parties on its Board, alongside scientific, energy, business and community experts.


Our comments on climate policy have always been focused on the best climate outcomes and the transformation of Australia’s high carbon economy. At various times our comments have been critical or complimentary of both major political parties. We seek to analyse, develop and promote the best policies available for the challenge at hand. 


As an example, our analysis of pollution reduction potential of policies in 2010 recognised the Coalition’s Direct Action policies did more than the ALP’s policies. We were critical of the inadequacies of both parties policies then and in 2013 election.


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John Connor, CEO, 02 8239 6299

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