Media Releases | 24th Mar, 2004

The real greenhouse challenge: generational change in climate policies

Thursday, 25 March 2004

As the Government puts the finishing touches to its Climate Change Strategy, Australian environment groups that make up the Climate Action Network Australia are today challenging all parties to seriously address the threat. The groups’ proposed plan rejects the current approach favouring the status quo and sets out a package to prevent dangerous climate change by boldly reducing greenhouse pollution.

Greenpeace climate campaigner, Frances MacGuire, said “In this election year, neither the Government nor the opposition is truly facing up to the most important environmental threat confronting the planet. With climate change already hurting Australians, the challenge is to reduce our greenhouse emissions by 20% by 2020 and more than 60% by 2050.”

Environment Victoria climate campaigner, Darren Gladman, said “The real greenhouse challenge is to adopt a whole new vision for energy. Real leaders would adopt this comprehensive suite of measures to radically reduce fossil fuel use and boost clean energy and energy efficiency.”

The plan, the Real Way Forward, calls for a suite of policy measures including:

  • committing to a minimum target of a 60% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2050 with defined progress along the way;
  • ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and contributing to a stronger international regime beyond 2012;
  • adding a cost on carbon use to drive transition from fossil fuel generation;
  • boosting renewable energy generation through a Mandatory Renewable Energy Target of 10% by 2010 and 20% by 2020 as well as adequate research and development funding; and
  • committing to a national energy efficiency strategy to achieve world’s best practice across industry, business and residential sectors.

Don Henry, Executive Director of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said “Global warming poses great dangers both for our environment and our economy. But as well as dangers there are opportunities – by acting right now to boost renewable energy technologies and drive energy efficiency we can create jobs and investment while helping the environment.”

Download The Real Way Forward