‘Hard-wired’ path to carbon trading goes the wrong direction

Media release

February 24 2011

 

‘Hard-wired’ path to carbon trading goes the wrong direction

– We need urgent reductions in emissions, not handouts to big polluters

Today’s announcement of the Multi Party Climate Change Committee (MPCCC) agreed pathway of an interim price ‘hard-wired’[1] to become an emissions trading scheme takes Australia in the wrong direction, says Friends of the Earth Australia, and away from real solutions to the climate crisis.

Climate justice spokesperson Holly Creenaune said, "We're concerned this is a resurrection of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), which was rejected in the Senate and failed to win public support because it was worse than doing nothing.

"Carbon trading does not work – across the world cap-and-trade has failed to reduce emissions, harmed local communities and delayed real action; whilst delivering huge profits to polluters and financial speculators.

"The MPCCC framework repeats the mistakes of the CPRS by handing over revenue to big polluters, on top of other loopholes like cheap offsets.

"We welcome the exclusion of international offsets from the interim carbon price. However, by allowing domestic offsets in the initial phase, expanding to a carbon market riddled with international offsets, polluters will avoid reducing emissions at the expense of communities displaced and affected by damaging offset projects.

"Today’s agreement foreshadows a low price on carbon – and no political parties are currently committed to a substantial price. With a low price on carbon, Australia's emissions will continue to rise.

"Competitiveness and energy security for polluters are clearly the main considerations in setting the price – ignoring the serious impacts of climate change and regulatory action needed to transition away from fossil fuels.

"We want to see effective and just solutions on the table – solutions that phase out coal-fired power, that stop the expansion of coal mining; that protect our rivers, farmlands, and health from fossil fuels extraction; and drive the rapid growth of renewable energy in Australia. These solutions include direct investment in renewable energy and an end to fossil fuel subsidies."

 

For comment, please contact Holly Creenaune on 0417 682 541

Email: holly.creenaune@foe.org.au

 

[1] Julia Gillard, in ‘Carbon price to start July 2012: Gillard’, Sydney Morning Herald, 24/2/2011