Media release 12th March

MEDIA RELEASE – Friday 12th March 2010

Climate forum opens climate change commitments to public scrutiny

The climate change policies of Tasmanian political parties were open to public scrutiny last night at the ‘Vote for a Safe Climate’ forum hosted by Climate Action Hobart (CAH) and Environment Tasmania (ET). Over 150 Tasmanians watched as Lisa Singh MP, Vanessa Goodwin MP, Cassy O’Connor MP and election candidate Melanie Barnes went head to head on their party’s climate change credentials in a bid to win the votes of Tasmanians concerned about climate change.

“In the next week Tasmanians will be deciding who to vote for in the state election. It is critical that they are aware of the actions to mitigate the effects of climate change that will be taken by each political party before they vote” said Ms Wright spokesperson from Environment Tasmania.

Climate Action Hobart spokesperson Phil Harrington said “We believe there are ten steps that need to be taken to secure a safe climate for our future. We presented the audience and the political parties with a scorecard that ranks each of the parties climate policies compared to these ten steps”.

The ten steps (from CAH’s 10 Steps for a Safe Climate) include committing to reducing our greenhouse gas emission by 60% by 2020, 100% renewable energy by 2020, protecting Tasmania’s forests as natural carbon stores, reducing energy use and consumption, investing in public transport, and an overhaul of our planning system to encourage sustainable cities and regions across Tasmania.

The parties used the forum to launch some new policies relating to investment in renewable energy in Tasmania.

“It was positive to hear Labor announce a new policy for 100% renewable electricity by 2020, but it was dampened by their inability to give an undertaking that it would not include the burning of native forests to produce power.”

“The Greens also used the forum to highlight their commitment to making Tasmania a 100% renewable energy island with a crowd pleasing commitment that no native forests would be burnt to produce this power,” said Ms Wright.

The forum was the first step in CAH’s Safe Climate Scorecard campaign. The Scorecards rate the policies of the political parties contesting the state election as compared to the benchmarks set out in CAH’s Ten Steps to a Safe Climate - Tasmania's contribution to preventing dangerous climate change.

“Over the next week we will be delivering 4000 Safe Climate Scorecards to households in Denison and Franklin to ensure that the community knows exactly where the parties stand on the crucial issue of climate change,” said Mr Harrington.

Climate Action Hobart will launch their ‘Safe Climate Scorecard’ letterboxing campaign today at 11am, Parliament Lawns Hobart - media are invited to attend.

Contact: Phil Harrington 0419 106 449 or Jess Wright 0428 274 280

Melanie Barnes, Lisa Singh, Vanessa Goodwin and Cassy O'Connor with Climate Action Hobart members.Image: Gemma Tillack.