Government backdown on climate change

May 18, 2010

Government backdown on climate change

Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:06

“The Australian community gave this Government a mandate for strong action on climate change when we elected them in 2007. As a Government they have failed us and the Prime Minister has failed to provide the moral leadership the community expected of him,” Rev. Macrae said.

Rev. Elenie Poulos, National Director of UnitingJustice Australia, the justice unit of the Church, says “It is self-evident that the health of our economy is dependent on the health of the planet. Political leaders who espouse concern for our economic future but show no desire to actually act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and move to a low-carbon economy are obviously not serious about our long-term prosperity.

“Putting serious action on climate change into the ‘too hard’ basket until 2013 sends a defeatist message to all Australians, to the international community, and particularly to our Pacific neighbours who are already feeling the devastating effects of climate change.

“Just two weeks ago UnitingJustice joined a diverse group of environmental, community and faith-based organisations calling on the Australian Government to act on climate change before the next election and get started with an immediate levy on carbon. It is extremely disappointing to hear that no further action will be taken on this matter.

“The Uniting Church has long advocated for the need for a price on carbon. Without a carbon price, there is no signal to industry to clean up its act and no impetus for shifting to a low-carbon economy. The Government has admitted that the longer we delay, the greater the cost will be.

“The Government’s decision threatens investment in renewable energy industries which are vital to improving Australia’s global competitiveness in a low-carbon world. We risk being left behind in the global movement towards cleaner, greener technologies if we continue to stall on putting a price on carbon,” said Rev. Poulos.

Rev. Macrae said, “The Australian community expected more of the Rudd Government.. We call on all political parties to re-examine their positions, stop playing politics with the future of our planet and commit to taking the serious and urgent action required to address the already devastating effects of climate change.”