23 January 2013 — The Australian Greens are calling on the Federal Government to introduce stronger energy efficiency targets and rein in coal exports.

The Greens say reports have found that the carbon price has triggered an 8.6 per cent drop in pollution, led by reduced energy demand and increased renewable energy use.

However a Greenpeace International report projects that Australia is set to become the world’s second largest contributor of new carbon emissions unless the planned expansion of coal mining and export is slowed and halted.

“Australia: by 2025, coal exports would increase to 408 million tonnes a year above 2011 levels, pushing associated CO2 emissions up by 1200 million tonnes a year once the coal is burned. By then, the CO2 emissions caused by Australian coal exports would be three times as large as the emissions from Australia’s entire domestic energy use.”

Australian Green leader Senator Christine Milne said the price on pollution was working and “it’s time for us to work harder to tackle global warming”.

“The carbon price is successfully cutting the pollution that’s driving global warming and bringing on more clean, renewable energy,” she said.

“With this success, as well as the clear picture of global warming that this summer of extreme weather has shown us, we should be lifting our sights to much stronger action.

“Coal exports are the elephant in the room, as the Greenpeace report today shows. The Galilee Basin alone could be the world’s 7th largest polluter if it were its own country. If we don’t rein in the planned coal expansion, we have no chance of tackling global warming and preventing ever worse extreme weather.”