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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Jerusalem will never be up for

negotiation. The Federal

negotiations with the Opposition says it won't rush

Government about the Emissions

Trading Scheme. The Government

wants a vote on the issue in the Senate by the end of the

week. For more, assisting the

Minister for climate change

Greg Combet joins us now from

Canberra. Ian McFarlane has

said he won't rush it for the

right result and said there

could be an end to the

negotiations by Sunday is. That

the same sort of timeframe as

you are look at? I'm loathe to

put dead lines on negotiations.

The real constraint we're

working to here is that

parliament rises in a week from

today and the Government wants

to have the carbon pollution

reduction scheme legislation

passed through the Senate by

that time so that we can go to

the Copenhagen negotiations in

December not just with our

targets of course but with a

very robust mechanism to achieve them and we think that

will give us the strongest

possible negotiating position.

Are you pleased he says a deal

could be struck by Sunday?

Well, that is positive news but

at the end of the day we've

just got to sit down in the

negotiating room and nut the

issues out and needalise to say

people are working very

feverishly towards that end.

Are you pleased Ian McFarlane

has considered Labor has a

mandate to introduce a

Emissions Trading Scheme? Ian

McFarlane's a pretty straight-shooting sort of guy,

I suppose, and he is stating

what is obvious and what the

Government's been claiming for

some time and that is that we

didn't hide our light under a

bushel. We went to the last

election clearly campaigning on

climate change in contrast to

John Howard's inaction on the

issue, saying that we would

ratify the Kyoto Protocol,

which we did, and saying that

we'd do the detailed work to

bring in an Emissions Trading

Scheme so that we could start

bringing down our levels of

carbon pollution and that's exactly what we've been working

to and we've had the commune's

support for it. What are the

elements in the negotiating

table now? 'The Australian' is

reporting you're close to

agreeing to give high methane

emitting mines more

compensation. Are you going to

be giving handouts to mines?

The coal industry's one of the

parts of the negotiation that

I'm responsible for and it's

never appropriate to be

speculating in the media, with

due respect, about the content

of negotiation s until they're

completed so I wouldn't intend

commenting upon that issue but

suffice to say that coal is one

of the issues under discussion

and both the Government and the

Coalition are obviously working

away to ensure that the coal

sdee has the most sustainable

outcome. The coal industry

itself though is engaged in a

scurrilous scare campaign with

TV advertising threatening that

people are going to lose their

jobs and there's no truth to

any of that. What is your

bottom line on this? Because

of course the eTS negotiations

have been criticised if they go

too far towards compensating

coal mines and other dirty

industries as such, if they're

accepted as that, that the

whole ETS process could lose

credibility. What's your bottom

line? I can't speculate about

our bottom lines on these

things other than the fact that

obviously we want to get the

that the carbon pollution policy right. Now we believe

reduction scheme as we had

constructed it after two years

of very detailed work has been

right but the fact of the

matter is that the Government

can't prosecute the legislation

through the Senate without

getting some support from non-Government Senators and

we're engaged in negotiations

with the Opposition to try and

secure that support and the

Opposition has its views and

we're trying to negotiate our

way through them and we're

doing that in relation to a

number of issues they've

raised. The coal industry is

one of them. The Climate

Institute has come out with

research this morning that

we'll talk about later, showing

that if the Opposition's

amendments were implemented the

scheme would sink $36 billion

into the red and you wanted

this scheme to be self-supporting so are you

willing to rack up more debt to

compromise to the Opposition?

Well, we don't agree with the

Climate Institute's figures for

a start, although they've

played a very constructive role

generally throughout this

debate but any negotiated

amendments that we secure with the Opposition the government's

been very clear to say on the

record that they have to be environmentally credible and

responsible and they have to be fiscally responsible as

well. So- As everyone knows in

financial crisis, Governments the context of the global

around the world have been

under pressure on their budgets

and the Government's very

conscious and committed to the

fiscal constraints and

projections that we've artic

ulated. The mid year economic

forecasts were published

recently and we intend

remaining within the boundaries

we've outlined so environmental

credibility is critical in

these negotiations but so too

is fiscal responsibility. How

far do you think the Climate

Institute's research was out?

I haven't had a chance to look

at it yet. I have only seen the

media reports about it but

we'll have a look during the

course of the day at the way in

which they've put their figures

together but I can assure you

it doesn't accord with anything

near anything like what the

considering. What has been Government has been

your assessment of what the Coalition amendments would

cost? They're going to cost an

awful lot of money and that's

why we've been saying to the

Coalition that a deal has to be

fiscally sustainable and just

in the coal industry alone the

Coalition's ask was for

billions of dollars and it

can't be properly considered.

It's not an appropriate policy

position so whilst I haven't

had the opportunity to go

through the Climate Institute's

analysis of all of the element

s that the Coalition's put on

the table, perhaps their

assessment of the Coalition's

demands is right. I wouldn't

want to speculate about the

total value of it. The

important thing is though that

in the negotiating room and in

the outcome from any

negotiation is going to have to

be a fiscally responsible

position achieved and the

Coalition surely understands

that by now. Canada has

announced that they won't finalise regulation of

emissions trading until there's

global consen s or at least

stronger moves from the US so

why again should Australia push

ahead? It's very important

for a couple of reasons that

Australia gets the Emissions

Trading Scheme into place. For

a start it's been designed for

our own domestic circumstances

to reduce our own greenhouse

gas emissions and we are going

to have to do that and the

business community understands

that, the environmental

community of course strongly

supports that outcome so we

need to get it done for our own

domestic circumstances and one

of the reasons attached to that

is that the business community,

knowing that an Emissions

Trading Scheme's going to come

in and that a carbon price will

come into the economy, the

business leadership is saying,

"For heaven's sake, let's get

it done so that we know the

rules and there's a more

certain environment for

business to invest." That is a

very important point and all

the peak business leadership

are saying that. The second

reason though is I think a very

self-evident one, that in going into the international

community and discussing these

issues at the conference in

Copenhagen in December, it's

important that the Government

is able to go there and Kevin

Rudd as Prime Minister is able

to say, "We have this target

range that we are prepared to

commit to in the context of an

international agreement and

what's more we're serious about

it. We're not just putting numbers into the either, we're

serious about it. We have legislated a robust mechanism

to achieve our own targets in

our own domestic economy." And

it is important that individual

countries take whatever steps

they can to come to the table.

I was in the United States

recently and this is a very

vibrant debate in the US. There

are two alternative pieces of

legislation floating around the

US Congress and Canada of

course being such a close

neighbour geographically and so

closely integrated with the US

economy too, of course a debate

about any Canadian system was

that, well, it's going to be

that closely tied up with the

US that I think they'll

probably end up acting in

concert to a significant dry

together so we've also had in

recent times of course the

United States President Barack

Obama talking with the chainies

leadership about the issue and

that's also extremely important

dialogue so there's a lot of

momentum internationally and

Australians shouldn't be

seduced by this argument that

somehow we're acting alone.

This a really critical issue internationally and all of the

world leadership is focused on

it. The Prime Minister at the

recent APEC meeting in

Singapore was very focused on

this issue. The leadership

internationally was engaged

with it and will continue to be

so right up through to Copenhagen. We'll be keeping

an eye on the ETS negotiation.