The latest recommendation by Professor Ross Garnaut for a softer start to a carbon trading scheme needs to be carefully considered by the federal government on two critical fronts says ACTU President Sharan Burrow.

“In introducing an emissions trading scheme (ETS), it is crucial that Australia is able to demonstrate international leadership to encourage other countries to agree to the global ambitions set out at last year’s Bali Conference by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change,” says Ms Burrow.

“We must also be able to ensure that Australia’s economy is ready to compete globally in a low carbon future.

“This needs to include sustainable jobs in energy intensive, trade-exposed industries (EITE) and grab hold of opportunities to grow green jobs.

“Investment in technology and energy efficiency measures are urgently required.

“Australians are looking to the government for leadership in these areas, rather than being diverted by dead-end, short term thinking of self-interested business lobbyists.”

Ms Burrow says Professor Garnaut’s draft supplementary report is another valuable contribution to this important national debate.

She says the long-term proposal for a per capita system of emissions reductions is also worthy of serious consideration in the context of a globally equitable solution to climate change.