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Garnaut's weak targets recipe for catastrophic climate change – Greens

Rudd must lead globe towards strict targets

The weak targets advocated in the supplementary report from the Garnaut review released today are based on outdated science, risk catastrophic climate change and will undermine global negotiations towards an effective climate treaty, Australian Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne said today.

"Professor Garnaut concluded that it 'is worth paying less than 1% of GNP as a premium for the 450[ppm] strategy'. Surely, then, this should be our starting point, not our ultimate goal," Senator Brown said.

"The weak target of reducing emissions by 10% below 2000 levels by 2020 would lead to an over-allocation of carbon permits in the same way that the over-allocation of water entitlement has lead to the Murray-Darling Basin crisis," Senator Brown said.

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must aim to reduce Australia's emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 if we are pull our weight globally in the effort to avoid dangerous climate change. Rudd must now demonstrate good will in the lead up to the Copenhagen negotiations."

"According to Garnaut, Australians, as the world's worst per capita polluters today, should be entitled to continue that way for another 42 years. Professor Garnaut is arguing that Australia should be rewarded for a decade and more of recalcitrance," Senator Milne said.

"Studies show that Australia has the cheapest and quickest abatement options in the world because we have done so little for so long. If we stop the destruction of Australia's native forests and woodlands we could reduce our emissions by a massive 24%. There's another 15% reduction in our emissions if we use our energy more productively. And we have the world's best renewable solar resources and technology ready to go.

"It is just not logical to say it is easier to get to 450 if you aim at 550. In reality, a slow start closes off any feasible option to avoid the worst impacts. We need to start fast and get faster," Senator Milne said.

"Professor Garnaut should be given credit for repeating his conclusion that there is no basis for compensation for domestic firms, directly contradicting the Rudd government's Green Paper."

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