Saturday, July 24, 2010

ALP Climate Change Policy Announcement

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, made a speech "Moving forward together on Climate Change" on Friday. This proposes a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions,with a CO2 target of 450 ppm, limiting the increase in temprature to 2 degrees, through a cap and trade scheme. However, one year would first be spend consulting the community on the proposal through a "Citizens Assembly". In addition $1 billion would be invested over 10 years in connecting the electricity grid to renewable energy sources and $100m for the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE). There is no proposal for the Australian Government curb its own increasing use of energy. Here are some excerpts:
... The science tells us that we need to limit the growth of carbon pollution in our atmosphere to 450 ppm if we are going to have a chance of limiting global temperature growth to two degrees or less.

That in turn helps to explain the commitment that the Australian Government has made, to cut our pollution levels by at least five per
cent by 2020 compared to our pollution levels in 2000. ...

In taking those steps, we must work towards a new model of economic
growth. ...

Our approach to developing an emissions trading scheme to suit the
Australian economy – the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) ...

The CPRS would require firms that need to use carbon in their work to
acquire permits and allow those permits to be traded so that there is an incentive to reduce carbon pollution and so the permits can be used in the most efficient and most productive ways.

Revenue from the scheme – from the sale of permits – was planned to be
used for assistance to help communities, families and firms to make the transition to a low carbon economy. ...

When we brought it to the Parliament, which we did twice last year, it
took up 11 separate Bills. ... the Greens Party and the Liberal Party
voted against the legislation ...

My job now is to explain the approach that a Labor Government will take to this challenge as we learn the lessons of the last year and look forward. ...

But I recognise that there are some lessons to learn.

These are the lessons:

The first lesson is that, if you want to make a big change for our
nation, the political process must be connected with the community. ...

So now I will set out for your consideration the approach that I will
take to this issue if my Government is re-elected. ...

My Government will create an independent, properly credentialed source
of information and expert advice – a Climate Change Commission – to
explain the science of climate change and to report on progress in
international action. ...

And so today I announce that if we are re-elected, I will develop a
dedicated process – a Citizens’ Assembly – to examine over 12 months the evidence on climate change, the case for action and the possible
consequences of introducing a market-based approach to limiting and
reducing carbon emissions. ...

I envisage that those involved would be genuinely representative of the wider Australian public. They would be voluntary participants, but selected through the census/electoral roll by an independent authority.

Their work would be supported with evidence, analysis and access to the views and positions of a wide range of advocates.

At the same time the Citizens’ Assembly is at work, I will work with
State and Local Governments, business and community groups to maximise
information and discussion in the community overall.

The role of this Citizens’ Assembly will not be to become the final
arbiter or judge of consensus, but to provide an indicator to the nation of the progress of community consensus and the issues that will need to be addressed in making the transition I have described today to a successful, lower pollution economy.

Put simply, I believe in the skills, capacity, decency and plain common sense of Australians. I therefore believe that through dedicated discussion a representative group of Australians drawn from all age groups, parts of the country and walks of life, will help us move forward. ...

The second commitment I will give today is that, if we are re-elected, I will use the CPRS as the basis for this Citizens’ Assembly and community consultation on the way forward in reducing pollution through a market mechanism. In doing so, I recommit to the need for a market mechanism.

And I will maintain the Government’s current commitment to review our
progress in 2012, as we approach the end of the current Kyoto commitment period.

But now that review will be informed by the independent public
commentary of the Climate Change Commission on the dimensions of
international action and by the common sense of the Australian people. ...

... I also announce today that, if the Labor Government is re-elected,
we will introduce a policy that rewards businesses who take early action to reduce their pollution.

To give industry certainty about future investment, the Government will ensure that emission baselines for industry assistance will not be increased – they will be as determined under the CPRS. ...

... if we are re-elected, Labor will ensure that all new power stations will have to meet best practice standards for their carbon emissions.

New coal fired power stations would also have to be carbon capture and
storage ready, capable of being retrofitted to capture and store the
pollution caused by burning coal.

The new standards will be determined by Government following a process
of consultation open to all the key stakeholders, including technical
experts, energy market institutions, industry and environmental groups. ...

These new standards will not apply to existing projects or to projects
which have been committed to when the standards come into effect. ...

Today I announce that, if elected, the Australian Government will
contribute up to $1 billion over 10 years to the investment needed to
connect our electricity grid to new sources of renewable energy. ...

We will invest $100m to support market-based projects developing
renewable technologies through ACRE, the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy. ...

From: "Moving forward together on Climate Change", speech, Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, 23 July 2010.

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