The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) has expressed deep disappointment about the shelving of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and warned Australia could not afford to stall its contribution to global action.
The SCCC said: “Australian businesses, jobs and investors have had a decade of delay in effective climate policy. Meanwhile, clean energy industries and jobs have been lost to competitors in China, South Korea, and Europe where ambitious clean energy policies are being implemented.
“Since October last year more than 150 new measures have been announced globally to reduce climate pollution and 32 countries now have emissions trading schemes. Around US$200 billion is expected to be invested in clean energy solutions, in 2010.
“All political parties and many business leaders are responsible for jeopardising efforts to make the transition to a clean energy economy and growing Australian clean-energy jobs, investment and industries.
“Shelving serious efforts to reduce Australia’s climate pollution diminishes the positive role that Australia can play in global climate negotiations which will ultimately increase climate and economic risk to the nation.
“Both parties who have backed the 2020 target ranges for emission reductions now need to explain how these are to be achieved at lowest cost without an economy-wide price signal such as an emissions trading scheme.”
All political parties should revisit their policies to:
1. Turn around our still rising climate pollution in the life of the next Government (i.e before 2013) and establish credible plans to achieve at least the 25 per cent reduction target by 2020.
2. Encourage investment, jobs and profits in clean energy and other climate solutions.
3. Make large companies responsible for their climate pollution by limiting and pricing emissions.
4. Implement a carbon price through an emission trading scheme in 2011 at the latest.
5. Ensure support for low income and vulnerable households as we move to put a price on climate pollution and experience greater climate change impacts.
6. Establish additional incentives for companies to overcome non-price barriers to invest in large scale investment in clean energy technologies, jobs and industries.
7. Help households and businesses use energy more efficiently so the whole economy can catch up with other countries that are doing more to avoid costly energy wastage.
The SCCC is comprised of ACOSS, ACTU; The Climate Institute, Australian Conservation Foundation and WWF.