Condemning the Rudd Government’s response to climate change as ‘dangerously inadequate’, a coalition of environmental groups has put forward a compelling alternative response entitled Plan B: An Agenda for Immediate Climate Action.
Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Wilderness Society and the state-based conservation councils including Environment Victoria were amongst the key organisations, together representing more than 400,000 Australians, backing the alternative plan.
Plan B puts forward a range of policies and actions that can be taken immediately to halve Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. These include:
Prioritising saving energy
- Cutting energy use in manufacturing, commercial buildings and homes by 30% using available technology, with an average payback time of four years
- Minimum 7-star rating for new homes and 5-star for commercial buildings, schools, hospitals and warehouses
Fast-tracking the switch to a renewable energy economy
- Doubling the Renewable Energy Target to 90,000 GWh by 2020
- A moratorium on new coal-fired power stations
Driving the shift to low emissions vehicles and sustainable cities
- Adopting an emissions intensity target for new cars of 130grams per km by 2012 and investing in electric vehicles and public transport
Protecting our forests and woodlands as a carbon store and making agriculture part of the solution
- Ending logging of old growth forests and major land clearing of mature and regrowth forests, woodlands and grasslands by 2011
- Incentives for minimising the carbon and energy intensity of farming and agriculture
Growing the green job economy
- The creation of nearly a million ‘green jobs’
The environment groups behind Plan B have called on the Rudd Government to abandon the fundamentally flawed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which rewards big polluters and includes loopholes such as allowing unlimited carbon credits to be bought overseas.
This strong condemnation of the CPRS in its current form is consistent with the message put forward by Yarra Climate Action Now alongside 65 other climate action groups around Australia in a letter sent to Kevin Rudd in May.
The Rudd Government needs to let go of its flawed and irredeemable CPRS – it’s time for Plan B.