Media Release: 2nd Dec 2009


Groups campaigning for action on climate change have welcomed the defeat of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in the Senate today and called for Rudd to go back to the drawing board.

“The Coalition parties did the right thing, even if for the most irresponsible of reasons,” said Jess Wright, spokesperson for Climate Action Hobart. “The CPRS was worse than nothing, and its failure to become law has been welcomed by the Australian climate movement."

“We applaud the Australian Greens and Nick Xenophon for voting against it for the right reasons and we call on the government to go back to the drawing board and come up with climate policies that will really make a difference.”

Labor’s emissions trading scheme, if adopted, would have seen polluting industries receive billions of dollars in handouts. The scheme would have also locked in emissions reduction targets so weak that “if adopted globally, practically guarantees destruction of most life on the planet” according to leading NASA scientist James Hansen.

“Labor suffers from its own form of climate change denialism,” said Jess Wright. “Presenting garbage like the CPRS to the public, pretending that it is a serious response to climate change, is in itself a refusal to take the issue seriously. Unwittingly, the climate change denialists of the Coalition, by destroying such a gift to the polluters, have opened the door to real strategies to reduce emissions.”

Climate Action Hobart is calling for a emissions reduction target of at least 60 percent by the year 2020, which would require a rapid transition away from coal towards renewable energies, major investments in public transport and energy efficiency and the protection of our native forests as carbon stores.

“The science should set the benchmarks for action” said Susan Austin, Climate Action Hobart spokesperson. “This legislation would have slowed down change on climate over the next 10 to 15 years which are the years in which the most rapid change is essential, that is, the legislation would have blocked the necessary emergency action.”

“We need to face reality, urgently slash our emissions from fossil fuels, draw carbon down into soils and forests, and cool the planet. There are highly effective solutions for doing this and we need to stop ignoring them.” Austin said.

Climate Action Hobart is one of more than 150 community based climate groups that has argued for the scrapping of the CPRS in favour of a more effective scheme.