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Australia joins international action on climate change

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation


GC 237/12 21 August 2012


A report published today by the Climate Commission demonstrates that Australia is playing its part in extensive international action to tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, International Action on Climate Change, dispels the myths pushed by the Opposition that Australia is acting alone and that our policies will make no difference to emissions.

It finds that 90 countries representing 90 per cent of the global economy have committed to reduce their carbon pollution and have policies in place to achieve these reductions.

Many of these countries are relying on market-based mechanisms.

The Commission concludes that by next year 850 million people will be living in countries or states with emissions trading schemes.

This includes countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland. Carbon trading is also operating at the sub-national level in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

And momentum is growing: California will commence emissions trading next year; China is developing pilot emissions trading schemes in seven cities and provinces which will also commence next year; and Korea’s emissions trading scheme will commence in 2015.

This gives the lie to the claim by the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott that: “We are only going to achieve a significant reduction in emissions if there is global action and at the moment there is no sign, no sign whatsoever, that the rest of the world is going to do things like introduce carbon taxes or emissions trading schemes.”

The scientific advice is that the world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous climate change and its negative impacts on future generations.

Australia needs to play its part, as a responsible global citizen, as the world’s 15th largest emitter and as the highest per capita emitter of all developed economies.

If we delay action the cost of the economic adjustment will only be larger and the risk of dangerous climate change will be higher.

Media contacts: Mark Davis, Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920