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Renewables target: Government must ignore short-sighted agenda of big polluters.

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senators for Tasmania

media release

Renewables target: Government must ignore short-sighted agenda of big polluters

Brisbane, Monday 18 August 2008 The Rudd Government must ignore the short-sighted agenda of Australia’s big polluters and stick to its commitment to lift the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said today.

Senator Milne said, “It is no surprise that Australia’s biggest polluters are lobbying the Government to protect the status quo under which they can keep raking in the profits and pay nothing for the carbon pollution they pump into the atmosphere.

“The Australian Industry Group, the Business Council, Cement Australia and the Aluminium Council are all hard at work in Canberra trying to lock Australia into a resource economy which will soon be in the past, and deny us all the benefits of moving swiftly into the clean, clever future.

“The greenhouse mafia claims that the renewables target will undermine our export industries, coming on the same day that we are seeing new concerns that the resource boom is coming to an end, reveal just how much these people are locked in the past.

“Policies to boost renewable energy are about making sure that Australia will be in a position to achieve the serious emissions cuts we will need to make. Without bringing on the alternatives to polluting coal, we face far higher costs in the future. A high renewables target substantially reduces the cost of cutting emissions over the medium term.

“With the proposed emissions trading scheme compromised, and early indications that the scheme’s cap will be far too weak, the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target is the Rudd Government’s only remaining scrap of credibility on climate change. If Rudd and Wong bow to pressure from polluters on this vital issue, they will pay the political price for abandoning those Australians who voted for climate action in 2007.”

Senator Milne is in Brisbane today in hearings for the Senate Inquiry into the tax treatment of carbon sink forests. She is available for interviews on either issue.

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562