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Transcript of interview with Virginia Trioli: ABC2 Breakfast: Emissions trading scheme and response to climate change.

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Warren Truss MP: ABC2 Breakfast - Emissions trading scheme and response to climate change Email this page Back

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Printer Friendly Version

Source: Warren Truss MP

Virginia Trioli: Malcolm Turnbull says a Coalition - and as an Opposition - can design some sort of carbon reduction scheme that goes even further in cutting emissions. What do you think of that?

Warren Truss: Well you can certainly achieve significant cuts by using the best technology that’s available; innovative ways to achieve carbon sequestration. Those sorts of things can achieve real results in a way that Labor’s emissions trading scheme will never succeed. Now Labor is really relying on closing down industry and moving jobs overseas to achieve carbon cuts. That’s unacceptable to Australians and it will be devastating to our economy. We’ve got to be smarter and more realistic and more imaginative that that.

Trioli: So are you saying that you are prepared to accept some sort of carbon reduction scheme as long as an emissions trading scheme is not part of that?

Truss: Well we need to look at ways in which we can effectively reduce CO2 emissions …

Trioli: We’re just running short of time and I just want to sort of get a clear sense from you as Leader of the National Party what you think about any kinds of emissions trading scheme at all, because I know that members of your party don’t like the idea of it one bit.

Truss: Well an emissions trading scheme can be part of an overall response but we also need to be innovative and looks at ways in which we can effectively minimise carbon emissions. The reality is that this is supposed to be about improving the environment, not raising new taxes for the Government. And so we should be looking at ways in which we can actually reduce Co2 emissions or effective sequest those emissions if we are going to achieve a worthwhile result.

Trioli: But you don’t still have members of your own party who refuse to believe that humans have any role in climate change anyway. I mean, you are a still a fair way from even being in that part of the debate?

Truss: Well, we have to look at what is the best thing for your country and for our planet in the future. In the words of Rupert Murdoch, the planet deserves the benefit of the doubt. So even if there are people who have reservations about the science and whether or not the issues are adequately proved, we do need to take an expedient response so that we are able to do the best we possibly can to achieve our share of the globe’s response to this issue. And Australia can’t do it on our own - we’re only about one and quarter percent of the world’s emissions and our share is going down. We should be prepared to pay a leadership role. We need to be innovative and looking at new ways in which we can in fact reduce those emissions and that can be a solution that can have win-win benefits, even for those who may have doubts about whether the science is sound.

Trioli: Sticking with the issue of an emission trading scheme, clearly any plan that Malcolm Turnbull comes up with has to include at least to some extent a kind of emissions trading scheme. We’ve got The Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce saying at the moment that he’s not voting for an ETS at all. What happens to a Coalition view if Malcolm Turnbull comes up with some sort of concept that does include an emissions trading scheme? How do people like him get a key figure like Barnaby Joyce on side?

Truss: Well virtually everybody in the National Party has very serious reservations about Labor’s emissions trading scheme. Most of us will want to vote against it, because it is fundamentally unsound. It will cost jobs; it move industries from Australia overseas where they will emit much more CO2 gases than what happens in Australia. So it will be bad for Australia but it will also be bad for the global environment. So that scheme is fundamentally unsound. It is flawed in its design and Labor should be bold enough to reject it now, go back to the drawing board and put together a more comprehensive plan to address these issues. We need to be innovative and progressive in dealing with these issues and Labor is stuck in the mud, stuck with a scheme that no-one anymore supports. They should immediately abandon it and start working towards a more progressive solution.

Trioli: Warren Truss, I’m asking you about your side of politics. The kinds of plan that the Coalition might come up with. You don’t like the Labor plan (inaudible) what do you come up with if it doesn’t include emissions trading, when geo-sequestration is a brand new, untested and untried science, and that seems to be what Malcolm Turnbull is relying on?

Truss: Well geo-sequestration is one of the elements …

Trioli: Untried elements, untried…

Truss: … but there are a whole range of other ways in which we can sequest carbon as well. We need to be looking at what we can do in relation to sequestering in the soil, catching carbon underground, and ways in which we can use new technology to emit less CO2 into the future. There’s a lot of exciting new technology around, there’s a lot of exciting new science around, let’s seize those

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opportunities as part of a program with the rest of the world. If the whole world adopts an emissions trading scheme and the rules are the same in every country, then the impact is not so great on the nation that may be doing it alone. So there is room for an emissions trading scheme in an overall response to CO2 emissions, but it will only be one part - and probably in the end, if we want to have an effective scheme - it’ll only be a small part.

Trioli: We just have a few seconds Warren Truss before we got to the top of the hour, but just to clarify then: are you saying that the Coalition view would still prefer it to be that some sort of scheme set up in Australia only be part of a global response? That Australia still not go it alone until the entire world comes on board?

Truss: I’m happy for Australia to play a leadership role but (inaudible) not when no-one else is there. What we have to have is a scheme where the whole world responds to this issue because we’re only one percent, or one and a quarter percent, of the world’s emissions. We can’t do it by ourselves; we all need to work together.

Trioli: Thanks so much.


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