Australia must make every effort to lock in an effective Emissions Trading Scheme as a vital part of a package of urgent measures necessary to combat climate change, nationally and globally.
“If the science wasn’t compelling enough, the bushfires, droughts, floods and cyclones we are experiencing are surely reinforcing this for all Australians,” says ACTU President Sharan Burrow.
“Australia must act urgently to cut its carbon emissions and this will require an ETS supported by complementary measures including energy efficiency, agriculture and forestry initiatives, rapid development and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies,” says Ms Burrow.
“An Emissions Trading Scheme must be robust enough to make it possible for existing industries to make a transition to a low carbon economy and to grow new, sustainable jobs in emerging green industries, as soon as possible.
“If we fail to do this, or delay the transition, it could potentially cost our economy tens of thousands of jobs,” says the ACTU President.
The Rudd Government has acknowledged that a global agreement to stabilise greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere below 450 parts per million (ppm) is in Australia’s interest.
If Australia is to play strong and constructive role in the global talks in Copenhagen in December, we will need to show real leadership in shaping an effective ETS, strong complementary measures and an ambitious set of targets for developed countries.