Greens release amendments to make CPRS work

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The Greens are today giving the Rudd Government fully drafted amendments to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme which would make the failed scheme environmentally effective and economically efficient.

The amendments provide the basis for an agreement that the Senate could support with some effort from the Government, but that would also have a meaningful impact on the climate.

"These comprehensive amendments would turn a scheme that locks in failure into an effective and efficient scheme that would play a key role in addressing the climate crisis," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"These sensible amendments are supported by the best scientific and economic advice from the IPCC to Professor Garnaut, and the Government would do well to support them."

The Greens' amendments:

  • insert environmentally effective emissions reduction targets of 25% unconditional and 40% in the context of global action, in line with the UN Bali Negotiating Range;
  • adopt Professor Garnaut's economically credible proposals to:
  • auction all permits;
  • compensate trade exposed industries only to the value of their lost competitiveness, not for lost profits; and
  • not compensate electricity generators at all;
  • fix the problem of undermining additional and voluntary action by providing for such action to be tallied and equivalent emissions cut from the following year's target;
  • remove market distortions such as the price cap and the ban on permit export;
  • ensure that transport is covered by the scheme; and
  • only allow the import of the most highly credible permits and restrict total imports to ensure credibility of the scheme and drive domestic economic transformation.

"I expect Mr Rudd and Senator Wong to engage constructively with these economically efficient and environmentally responsible amendments and not just reject them out of hand. They must justify their decision to reject any of them.

"The Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme as it stands is a mockery of a climate policy. With uselessly weak targets and $16 billion handouts to polluters, it will not reduce our impact on the planet or transform our economy in any way.

"Every dollar to polluters is a dollar less to the community. Every dollar to polluters is a dollar less to reduce emissions, boost renewables and transform the economy.

"The Government is happy to make the CPRS even worse by working with the Liberals, a party they have consistently attacked for being climate sceptics. Does Mr Rudd think he can have any scrap of climate credibility if he is happy to negotiate with sceptics to pay polluters more?

"The Government and Opposition's proposals will not protect a single job - all they do is bolster corporate profits. The Greens' amendments will protect and create jobs.

"If Mr Rudd and Senator Wong are serious about getting an emissions trading scheme in place, they should be talking to all members of the Senate, particularly those who are serious about meaningful action on climate change."

You can download a chart of the amendments here and the full amendments as drafted here.