“Householders will pay twice whilst polluters get free permits”

Like the majority of Australia’s environment and climate groups, the Conservation Council of South Australia (CCSA) is bitterly disappointed with the Federal Government’s backflip on its election promises to take strong action on climate change.

Changes announced yesterday to Australia’s emission trading scheme will do the climate far more harm than good.

While increasing our emissions reduction target range from 5-15% to 5-25% sounds positive, in reality the conditions that would have to be met for Australia to commit to the upper end are unlikely to be met. In practice, the 5% target is still the most relevant one, and this has not been increased. Australia’s target range should be at least 25-40%, as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd acknowledged back in 2007.

There is a new mechanism to allow Greenpower purchases to reduce Australia’s overall emissions, where previously these simply freed up cheaper permits for polluters. However with the massive exemptions to big polluters in the Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme, the rest of the community will still be subsidising polluters by bearing the brunt of the higher energy prices.

“Householders will pay twice whilst polluters get free permits”.  

Delaying action by effectively another two years, capping the cost of carbon at a tiny $10/tonne and giving polluters even  more compensation than was planned under the previously flawed CPRS design means we are slowing and weakening our response to the most urgent problem the world has ever faced.

“The purpose of emissions trading is to make it more cost-effective to be energy efficient than to pollute, with renewable energy, including geothermal, still  inadequately supported”, said  CCSA campaigner Jamnes Danenberg.

“These changes to the CPRS ensure that it cannot possibly achieve anything of the sort.”

“Anyone who cares about living in a safe world in the coming decades should be deeply concerned about yesterday’s announcement,”  said Mr. Danenberg

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