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Government procrastinating on greenhouse.

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Senator Lyn Allison

Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria

Dated: 22 February 2008

Government Procrastinating on Greenhouse

The Democrats today accused the Government of stalling unnecessarily on setting a mid term emissions reduction target.

“The election promise was for the 2020 target to be set as soon as Professor Garnaut reported in June. Now the final report has been delayed until September and the decision put back to the end of the year,” said Senator Allison

“This procrastination makes a mockery of the government’s claim to be tackling greenhouse as a priority. Saying industry needs to be on board is code for ‘coal and big emitters are not happy’.

“The truth is, the 2050 target of 60% cuts is far too low to avoid serious global warming damage and, as the interim Garnaut Report shows, setting early mid term targets is crucial.

In addition to distancing the government from the Garnaut recommendations, Minister Wong in Senate Estimates today ruled out a target for 2010, remains wedded to coal (regardless of the cost of geosequestration), and could provide no detail on the government's proposed emissions trading scheme or the scientific rationale for sticking doggedly to a 60% target.

She also rejected calls for MRET target increases to be brought forward from 2010 claiming difficulty in getting agreement from the states.

“The Minister is fudging on renewable energy. In reality, the renewable energy schemes already developed by the states were designed to complement the national scheme.

“We don't need another 3 years to develop a system that is already in operation.

“Three more years’ wait means over $1 billion lost in investment for Australian based manufacturers and service companies and an extra 30 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“The Rudd Government's ratification of Kyoto is so far proving to be a very empty gesture,” Senator Allison concluded.

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