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Price on pollution is working – time to work harder

Media Release
Christine Milne 23 Jan 2013

With reports this morning that the carbon price has triggered an 8.6% drop in pollution, led by reduced energy demand and increased renewable energy use, the Greens are calling on the Government to lift its sights to stronger targets and start to confront the need to rein in coal exports.

A Greenpeace International report today projects that Australia is set to become the world's second largest contributor of new carbon emissions unless the planned expansion of coal mining and export is slowed and halted.

"The price on pollution is working, so now it's time for us to work harder to tackle global warming," said Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

"The carbon price is successfully cutting the pollution that's driving global warming and bringing on more clean, renewable energy. And it's doing so without leading to Tony Abbott's scary $100 lamb roasts or wiping Whyalla off the map, but rather helping people make ends meet through lower taxes and higher support payments.

"With this success, as well as the clear picture of global warming that this summer of extreme weather has shown us, we should be lifting our sights to much stronger action.

"Coal exports are the elephant in the room, as the Greenpeace report today shows. The Galilee Basin alone could be the world's 7th largest polluter if it were its own country. If we don't rein in the planned coal expansion, we have no chance of tackling global warming and preventing ever worse extreme weather.

"The Labor Party and its factional powerbrokers still seem to think they can talk the talk about climate change, pretend that the price on pollution is enough, and meanwhile back the polluting coal sector to the hilt. Well it doesn't work that way.

"The lesson that Tony Abbott should learn from this summer's extreme weather is that climate change is not only real but is already having an impact on the climate. With the obvious success of the price on pollution, Mr Abbott is looking increasingly embarrassed.

"If the old parties really understood global warming, they would stand up to the big business lobby and shift their support from exporting more polluting coal to building solar power stations."

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