States’ moves on climate bad for jobs, families and environment

The Southern Cross Climate Coalition (SCCC) has today expressed concern at attacks on the renewable energy target and clean energy support measures from the New South Wales Government and some business groups before Friday’s COAG meeting.

In light of the Queensland and Victorian Governments’ recent moves away from their commitment to such measures to support a price on pollution this is a trend in state politics that is bad for jobs, bad for families and bad for the environment.

To remain competitive and claim our fair share of the emerging global clean energy economy, the SCCC has long advocated a portfolio of policies including the renewable energy target, clean energy investment support and energy efficiency alongside a price and limit on carbon pollution. The report ‘Stronger, Fairer, Healthier’ being a prime example.

“Last year was a year of such extraordinary progress on climate action, with such great steps being taken. The CEFC legislation alone can enhance the $10 billion investment tenfold in renewable resources like sun and wind, giving us a huge competitive advantage. It is deeply disappointing to see Australia suddenly moving backwards on matters of crucial environmental importance,” said Don Henry, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

“The renewable energy target – a policy supported by both parties at the federal level – is an effective, efficient policy mechanism that helps Australia significantly reduce its emissions, grows jobs and investment, and reduces long term costs” said John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute.

“The suite of complementary measures that support the carbon price are important for driving innovation in clean technology and the associated job creation opportunities,” said Ged Kearney, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President.

“We need strong complementary measures to ensure that low-income people become part of the solution and are able to benefit from new opportunities, such as gaining employment in clean energy jobs, and reaping the benefits of affordable clean energy and energy efficiency measures.” said Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS).

In its 2011 election platform, the NSW Liberal party committed to developing a blueprint to reach the target of generating 20% of its electricity by 2020, a commitment that seems to have wavered.

The SCCC calls on all governments to stand behind important measures in carbon pricing, clean energy and energy efficiency in combating climate change, spurring innovation and growth, creating jobs and protecting Australian families.

Media contacts:

ACF – Josh Meadows, 0439 342 992

ACTU – Mark Phillips 0422 009 011

ACOSS – Fernando de Freitas, 0419 626 155

Climate Institute – Kristina Stefanova, 0407 004 037

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