Monday, July 15, 2013

Kevin Rudd, please don't weaken Australia's policies for tackling climate change

Open letter to Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia
CC:  Mark Butler, Anthony Albanese, Penny Wong, Chris Bowen

Dear Prime Minister,

I support your government’s efforts to introduce a price on pollution and am working in my community for stronger action on climate change and a renewables-powered future.

I am concerned that your government might be about to weaken the carbon price package. The price on pollution is working, is lowering emissions, and along with other programs like the Renewable Energy Target is driving transformation of our power supply. If it ain’t broke why fix it?

If you do decide to change the scheme, please keep the following things in mind:
  1. We need to increase ambition on climate change and adopt a higher pollution reduction target than our current 5% target;
  2. Moving to a floating price early will have budgetary implications. I’d support cutting polluter handouts like the unnecessary billions going to brown coal generators or polluting diesel subsidies for miners. But cutting important programs like the Clean Energy Finance Corporation or the Biodiversity Fund would be inexcusable.
  3. We’re still missing really important planks of climate change policy. We need a legislated National Energy Efficiency scheme, we need longer term and higher renewable energy targets; we need to reduce and ultimately phase out coal and gas exports; we need to remove fossil fuel subsidies and we need a plan for climate change adaptation. We’ve only just begun the critical journey of decarbonising our economy.
  4. We need to protect Australia's remaining native forests for their natural values and to preserve the carbon they store.
I understand what’s at stake this Federal election and that there’s an important choice before Australians. That’s why I urge you to be the leader we need on climate change.

You are tasked as Members of Parliament with representing your local constituents and the Australian People.  I urge to to avoid doing deals with big business that will weaken Australia's policies on climate change and the reduction of carbon emissions.  The Carbon Price has proven to be effective.  Please do not weaken it.

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