Media Releases | 24th Feb, 2011

Environment Victoria welcomes carbon price framework, calls for strong starting price

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Environment Victoria welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement that a price on carbon will commence on July 1 2012 and apply to most sectors of the Australian economy.

The Prime Minister announced plans for a fixed carbon price for 3 to 5 years, then migrating to a cap-and-trade scheme. Details about the starting price and any compensation for households and polluters will follow in coming months.

Responding to the announcement, Environment Victoria Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said:

“The clear starting date for the scheme is most welcome, as is the intention to ensure the scheme has broad coverage to include sectors like transport and waste.”

“The architecture provides the context for the critical decisions that will be made in coming months about the starting price and how funds raised through the carbon price are distributed.

“It remains unclear how the architecture will guarantee falling emissions in the next 3-5 years before the fixed levy migrates to a cap-and-trade scheme.

“Without further commitments, it’s possible emissions could continue to rise until 2017 which would clearly not be good enough.”

“The starting price will be critical in determining whether emissions rise or fall in the next 5 years.

“Environment Victoria supports a starting price of at least $50 per tonne, which is what Treasury estimated would be needed to reduce emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

“Unless we start the scheme at this sort of price, and have the ability to increase it over time, we will have no hope of achieving the sort of emission reductions that Australia and other nations will need to meet to stabilise our climate.

“We welcome Senator Brown’s comments that the Greens will be looking after the interests of Australian households when it comes to deciding how to spend the revenues from the price on carbon.

“Every dollar given to the polluters in compensation is one less dollar spent on making Australian homes more energy efficient and protecting Australians from rising energy prices.

“Polluters, particularly coal-fired generators, should have planned their businesses based on the introduction of a price on carbon, they should receive no compensation to continue polluting.

“However payments to accelerate the closure of highly polluting power stations like Hazelwood and to create new industries in coal regions should be considered,” Mr Wakeham concluded.

For interview contact:

Mark Wakeham, Campaigns Director on 0439 700 501

Media assistance:

Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844