Senate should oppose repeal of clean energy laws

Leading welfare, research, environment and trade union groups today urged the Senate not to repeal clean energy laws especially given the absence of credible Government alternatives.

“The Government should be congratulated in recognising the need for ‘strong and effective climate policy’ but it should not be supported in repealing clean energy laws while it has no credible, independently assessed, alternative policies,” said The Climate Institute CEO John Connor.

“These laws remain the only mechanism so far that can credibly help Australia do its fair share in helping avoid dangerous climate change up to and beyond 2020. No independent assessment of the Government’s proposed policies show they can meet even their minimum target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020, let alone the stronger targets recommended by the Climate Change Authority.”

“People who are the most vulnerable are already suffering the most from extreme weather and climate change impacts. Many will never recover from the floods, fires, and droughts that are devastating whole communities. We must back the experts about what needs to be done to reduce carbon pollution. The good news is that, if we reward investments in clean energy and energy efficiency, we can also create jobs and a brighter future for us all” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

The Australian Council of Social Service, The Climate Institute, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Australian Conservation Foundation have been active participants in carbon, energy and climate change issues separately and through the Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC). Last year the SCCC released Productivity, Fairness and Sustainable Climate Action: Foundations for a Competitive, Low Pollution, Clean Economy.

“There are enormous opportunities to create jobs, skills, innovation and investment in a low carbon economy that are being put at risk by the Abbott Government,” Australian Council of Trade Unions President Ged Kearney said.

“Australians are looking to the Government to support traditional industries to adapt and play an important role in a low carbon economy and to drive innovation in new industries to create new jobs and opportunities for the future. Yet Prime Minister Abbott who promised 1 million new Australian jobs is determined to get rid of these laws and the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation that would have created thousands of new high skilled, innovative clean tech local jobs.

“These laws end the entitlement of Australia’s biggest companies to pollute our atmosphere for free and have an independently monitored and flexible system of pollution limits – we should be building on these laws not destroying them,” said Australian Conservation Foundation CEO Don Henry.

For more information contact Garrett Stringer: 028239 6299 or 0405 306 623