The Australian Greens National Council has voted unanimously today to call on the Rudd Government to rethink the targets and architecture of its emissions trading scheme in the light of the latest science.
"Greens members from one end of the country to the other are alarmed at the Rudd Government's dishonest approach to climate change," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne.
"While declaring how serious the task is and claiming to be transforming the economy, the Government is actively protecting the big polluters and aiming for meagre targets which will see the planet breaching tipping points towards climate catastrophe.
"Nobody seriously believes that a 5% target, which is the only certainty the Rudd Government is offering, is defensible.
"5% sends a signal to the rest of the world that the Australian Government continues to act in bad faith on climate change.
"5% sends a signal to Australian business that there is no need to change.
"The Greens challenge the Government to explain how the compensation measures it is offering to the big polluters are based on any kind of sound economic theory or environmental policy. It is clear that the compensation is not about keeping jobs onshore, but about maintaining profitability for polluters in a changing world."
The Greens reiterated the urgency of moving toward carbon neutrality with a much more aggressive energy efficiency regime and a gross national feed in tariff.
Greens WA MLC Paul Llewellyn said "in the absence of a national gross feed-in tariff, the WA Greens are actively pursuing a local gross feed-in law to drive green jobs growth and a massive expansion in renewable energy in our state."
WA Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said "Whilst in WA, the Greens have taken the opportunity to consider the leadership the State has taken on public transport relative to the eastern states. We are looking forward to hearing from those who have driven the change at the community level at the Senate Inquiry into public transport that I initiated here in Perth tomorrow."
Senator Milne concluded, "The Rudd Government has an enormous opportunity to make deep cuts in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and improve our biodiversity by not only transforming the energy and transport sectors but also by protecting the carbon stores in our native forests from WA to the east coast and Tasmania."
The motion reads:
Given the increasing urgency of action on climate change in the light of the latest science, in particular the threat of breaching tipping points in the climate if such urgent action is not taken,
The Australian Greens National Council:
• Calls on the Rudd Government to
o rethink its plans to allocate compensation on the basis of lobbying power rather than sound economic theory and environmental policy; and
o adopt a serious emissions reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 on the way to carbon neutrality; and
• Endorses the efforts of the Australian Greens Senators in highlighting the fundamental flaws in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and promoting the tremendous benefits of investing massively in energy efficiency, renewable energy, public transport and protecting forest carbon stores, and calls on them to continue their efforts to engage the Government in debate on climate change action.