Media Releases | 17th Jun, 2011

The awful truth behind big polluters’ scare tactics

Friday, 17 June 2011

With big polluting companies suggesting an end to life as we know it should they have to pay for their pollution, it is vital the Multi Party Climate Change Committee accepts two central facts: First, big polluting companies have never been better placed to pay for their pollution, and secondly, if they don’t pay for it, Australian households will have to.

The Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and Environment Victoria are in Canberra today to present four of Australia’s dirtiest companies – BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Woodside and BlueScope – with a tax bill for their pollution.

“These companies have never been wealthier, have never had such exponential growth in the offing and have never generated as much carbon pollution as they are doing today,” said Trish Harrup from Greenpeace. “It’s time they began to pull their weight in addressing climate change.”

“The carbon price package being negotiated today by the MPCC should deliver invoices to the biggest industrial polluters for their multi dollar pollution debt, and that money should be directed to building large scale renewable energy projects” said Victoria McKenzie-McHarg from Environment Victoria.

“The simple truth is if they don’t pay for their carbon emissions, Australian households will have to. The value of the emissions from just these four companies in year 1 of the scheme at a $26 price is $1.28 billion,” said Simon O’Connor from ACF. “That means if these wealthy companies are excluded from paying their costs, Australian households will be picking up the bill to the tune of $160 per household in the first year alone.”

Today in Canberra we can expect that the big mining companies like BHP and Rio along with LNG producer Woodside will be lobbying Treasurer Swan to exempt their emissions from a carbon price during the Business Roundtable. If they get their way the Australian public will miss out on over $10 billion in revenue over the coming decade that could have been used to build large scale renewable energy.

Photo opportunity

What: Photo opportunity; representatives from ACF, Greenpeace, AYCC and Environment Victoria will be presenting executives from four of Australia’s dirtiest companies with their tax bill for 2010

Where: Public entrance Parliament House Canberra

When: 8.45am Friday, 17 June 2011