Green groups today launched yet another desperate salvage attempt on the flawed and increasingly leaky carbon pollution reduction scheme in the hope that it can provide some actual climate benefits.
The Total Environment Centre, CHOICE, WWF Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Alternative Technology Association, the Moreland Energy Foundation and Environment Victoria want the CPRS to at least recognise the emissions savings made by households, businesses and state and local government voluntarily instead of the gains handed to the big polluters on a plate.
The Greens’ Christine Milne egged them on.
But as the Coalition battles for greater concessions for anyone who is a major polluter and as the Federal Government enjoys its political torture of Malcolm Turbull with the relish of a six year old sadist skewering a fly, the prospects for any meaningful action are dimming.
“When Labor and Liberals put all their efforts into debating process points like timing and filibusters, you can be sure that neither of them have anything credible to say about the issue at hand,” Milne said.
The CPRS will hand $16 billion to big polluters – it should be called the “Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme,” she said.
“People trying to make a difference will be penalised by having to pay twice, while polluters will still benefit from the efforts of many who are trying to do their bit.”
Executive director of the Total Environment Centre, Jeff Angel said: “So far the CPRS debate has been dominated by polluting industries seeking compensation and the major parties are bending backwards to help.”
Not a thing on the table there for capturing the benefits of voluntary action taken by Australians – except to subsidise the big polluters, he said.
Director of campaigns and policy for CHOICE, Gordon Renouf, said the CPRS was actually disempowering. Logically.
“The current CPRS legislation excludes the majority of consumers and the majority of measurable consumer actions from making a meaningful contribution. It disempowers consumers from taking action on climate change and reduces their engagement with the issue,” he said.
Leader of WWF Australia’s Climate Change program, Paul Toni, said: “The CPRS will be an important part of Australia’s response to climate change, providing a clear price signal that will drive a shift to a clean economy. But those who take voluntary action – no matter who they are – must be confident that their action will have a direct – and additional – benefit to the environment.”
Chief executive of the Alternative Technology Association, Ian Porter, said: “The recognition of voluntary action by individuals, households, businesses and state and local governments under the CPRS will build upon significant momentum and send a strong message that the Government is looking to engage all Australians in the climate change challenge.”
or call: Jeff Angel, Total Environment Centre: 02 9261 3437; Paul Toni, WWF Program leader Climate Change: 0410086986; Ian Porter CEO, ATA: 03 9631 5404; Victoria Coleman, Senior Sustainability Policy Officer, CHOICE: 02 9577 3265; Paul Murfitt, CEO, Moreland Energy Foundation: 03 9385 8507; Owen Pascoe, Australian Conservation Foundation: 0437 242 950