Emissions trading amendments should be rejected unless substantially changed

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) has called on the Federal Government to reject the Opposition’s proposed amendments to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, saying they take the scheme backwards.

“The Government should reject the Opposition’s amendments unless they are substantially changed because, as they stand, they take the scheme backwards,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.

“A strengthened and passed CPRS would enhance Australia’s ability to push for a strong global agreement at Copenhagen and grow clean energy jobs in Australia while a weakened one will not,” said Sharan Burrow, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

“Australia should be promoting credible and effective domestic and international mechanisms to help achieve an effective global climate agreement,” said Climate Institute executive director John Connor. “That means a stronger CPRS with built in financing for investment in clean technology and avoiding deforestation in neighbouring developing countries and helping them prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. The Liberals’ proposals do not address this key issue.”

“Australia is one of the most energy inefficient and least carbon competitive economies in the developed world,” said Clare Martin, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service. “While there are some energy efficiency measures in the amendments, to promise more unconditional handouts, subsidies and exemptions for polluting industries would be a blow to low-income Australians.”

“Neither Malcolm Turnbull nor Kevin Rudd can claim the CPRS is ‘environmentally effective or economically responsible’ by taking backward steps,” said Greg Bourne, Executive Director of WWF.

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) recently wrote to the Government and Opposition urging both sides of politics to strengthen and pass the CPRS and warning that the SCCC would not support the legislation if it was made ineffective or irresponsible by backwards steps.