Tag Archives: cprs

Action on 27 March against the Rudd Government’s Carbon Polluters Rewards Scheme

As part of a national day of action, where around 32 protests were held outside the offices of Federal MPs in every state and territory, Yarra Climate Action Now and friends gathered outside the office of Lindsay Tanner, Member for Melbourne and Finance Minister.

The message was clear, we want a climate change policy from the Federal Government that doesn’t lock in failure and catastrophic climate change. We want the Federal Government to listen to the scientists and the community, not the powerful polluter lobbies.

What’s at stake is no less than the survival of humanity. For more information on why the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is worse than nothing, see the post below.

For coverage of the protest see the second half of this article (please note, the article gets the name of our spokesperson wrong, and the name of our group wrong – you’ve got to love lazy journalists).

Below are a few photos:

Co-author of Climate Code Red, David Spratt addresses the crowd.

(c) Yarra Climate Action Now

The Climate Emergency Service band performs.

(c) Yarra Climate Action Now

A protester lets Lindsay Tanner know he’ll be held accountable over the Labor Party’s inadequate and anti-scientific climate change policies.

(c) Yarra Climate Action Now

A summary of all the protests around Australia is available here.

To see a video of the protest the day after these protests at Hazelwood Power Station, click here.

Switch off the CPRS, Switch on 100% Renewables!

This Friday, 27 March will see around 30 actions all over Australia at MP offices. They will be happening to protest the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

Come along to one (or two!) of them, if we don’t fight for a safe climate future, we won’t get one! Details of actions at the bottom of this post.

Yarra Climate Action Now will be attending the action at Member for Melbourne Lindsay Tanner’s office, Friday 27 March, 12pm, 280 King St, Melbourne.

The Rudd Government’s CPRS is a sick joke, written at the behest of the fossil fuel and dirty industry lobbies at the Australian people’s expense.

It will:
– lock in inadequate and unscientific emissions reduction targets of 5-15% by 2020 on 2000 levels
– undermine international negotiations on an emissions agreement by showing Australia is not willing to pull its weight
– give pollution property rights to polluters, opening the Australian taxpayer up to potential compensation claims in the future when we have a government that will actually take climate change seriously
– result in a massive transfer of wealth from all of us to already rich, polluting companies, through free permits and other “compensation” giveaways
– disenfranchise voluntary action to reduce emissions by households and communities.

According to Guy Pearse in the latest Quarterly Essay, the giveaways to big business in the CPRS add up to a:

  • $455 one-off payment per Australian household to prop up the value of coal fired power stations for their mostly government and foreign owners.
  • $93 one-off payment per Australian household to the coal-mining industry
  • $500 per year per Australian household between now and 2020 (and beyond) to buy free permits for Australia’s worst polluting industries.

The scheme is designed to maintain business as usual and transfer wealth, while giving the appearance of action. It will not stop fossil fuels from being dug up and burnt, despite the urgent need to keep the coal, gas and oil in the ground. We need to urgently transition to a zero emissions economy, and the CPRS does nothing to begin that transition, in fact it probably sabotages this. We have to take a stand against a policy that puts the interests of big polluters above those of all Australian’s and future generations.

Confirmed actions on 27 March include:

* Office of Lindsay Tanner, Member for Melbourne, 280 King St, Melbourme at 12pm.

* Office of Kelvin Thompson, Member for Wills, 3 Munro Street, Coburg at 10am. Info Ellen on ellenmroberts at yahoo.com.au

* Office of Martin Ferguson, Member for Batman at 8am, 159 High Street, Preston. Info: Carol on caride at bigpond.com.au

* Office of Jenny Macklin, Member for Jaga Jaga at 10am, 149 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg. Info: Bridgit on bbattova3 at bigpond.com.au

* Office of Peter Costello, Member for Higgins at 10am, 1343 Malvern Road Malvern, contact Sue on 0411885126

* Office of Nicola Roxon, Member for Gellibrand at 10am, 1 Thomas Holmes Street Maribyrnong. Info: Shaun westsax at westnet.com.au

* Office of Steve Gibbons, Member for Bendigo at 10.30am, Cnr Williamson and Myers St, Bendigo. Info Dean dc at masg.org.au

* Office of Senator Jacinta Collins, 1013 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill, 10.30am, info Carol, ci at the.inter.net.au

* Office of Sophie Mirabella, Member for Indi, 117 Murphy St, Wangaratta, 9am

* Office of Richard Marles, Member for Corio, 12 noon, 17A Yarra St, Geelong. Contact: Mitch 0448 997 415 bukitmouth at hotmail.com

* Office of Michael Danby, Member for Melbourne Ports, 12pm, 117 Fitzroy St, St.Kilda West, info David, david.robinson at y7mail.com

* Office of Simon Crean, Member for Hotham, 10am, 401 Clayton Road, Clayton. Info Imogen imogen.jackson at gmail.com

*4pm-5.30pm Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices, 100 King William St, Adelaide, info Gemma gemma.weedall at student.adelaide.edu.au

*8am Federal Department of Climate Change, 2 Constitution Ave, Canberra, info Leigh, 0421 282 825

* Office of Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler at 9am, 334a Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. Info Climate Action Newtown

* Office of Tanya Plibersek, Member for Sydney – 12.09pm [As the international meeting in Copenhagen will be in December 2009], 422 Crown St, Surry Hills. Contact Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle, ccbrmail at aapt.net.au

* Office of Maxine McKew, Member for Bennelong, 10am, 230 Victoria Rd, Gladesville, info Jo info at climatechangerg.org.

* Office of Peter Garrett, Member for Kingsford Smith, 11am, Level 6, 806-812 Anzac Pde, Maroubra, info Scarlet scarlet.wilcock at gmail.com

* Office of Julie Owen, Member for Parramatta, 11am, Suite 8, The Octagon, 110 George St, Parramatta, info 0425 265 169.

*Office of Bob Debus, Member for Macquarie, 10am, 98 Bathurst St, Katoomba, info 0400 302 279
AND his other electorate office:
10.30am, 3/217 Howick St, Bathurst, info Judy, judygreg.walker at gmail.com

* Office of Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham, Shop 501, Globe Lane, Wollongong – more details to come.

* Office of Senator Michael Forshaw, 4pm, Suite 2, Level 1, 33-35 Belmont St, Sutherland, info Jon, jon at doig.net

* Labor Party Headquarters – 3pm, 377 Sussex St Sydney NSW 2000. Contact Friends of the Earth Sydney – 0402 564 862

* Office of Greg Combet, Member for Charlton and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, 8:30am, 324 Main Road, Cardiff, following a footpath march down from Cardiff Station from about 8.15 am (Newcastle train arrives 8.12am). Organised by Climate Action Newcastle (CAN), Lake Macquarie Climate Action (LMCA) and Rising Tide. Info Zoe 0425316496 or zoetiarerogers at gmail.com

* Office of Sharon Grierson, Member for Newcastle, 10am, 427 Hunter St, Newcastle. Organised by members of the Newcastle University Student Association. Info simon.cunich – at – gmail.com

* Office of Kevin Rudd, Member for Griffith, 1pm, 630 Wynnum Road Morningside. Info: Dominic, dominicale at optusnet.com.au or 0436 638 772.

* Office of Stephen Smith, 8.30am, 953a Beaufort St, Ingelwood info, www.safeclimate.org.au
Ph 0417 319 662.

* Office of Damian Hale, Member for Solomon, 30 The Smith Street Mall, Darwin. Info Justin Justin at nonuk.es – more details to come.

* Office of Warren Snowdon, Member for Lingiari, 1pm, Unit 3, 12 Gregory Tce, Alice Springs. Info Ruth ruthapelt@yahoo.com. 2:30pm meeting with Warren Snowdon, info Mandy iainandmandy at octa4.net.au

For updates, how-to guides and further information go to http://stepitupaustralia.wordpress.com/

Economists Come Out Against the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

A group of ten Australian economists slammed the Rudd government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), and called for a science-based policy to achieve 25%-40% cuts in emissions by 2020.

YCAN NOTE: The economists advocate targets that are based on the partially out of date findings of the IPCC’s 2007 report. It is possible that rich countries cutting their emissions by 25-40% by 2020 will not be enough to avoid runaway climate change.

This is their statement:

The Australian government is to be congratulated for its decision to take part in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) cannot be regarded as consistent with the government’s expressed goal of a global agreement to stabilize the climate. Among a number of serious flaws, the proposed target of a 5 per cent reduction in emissions (with a 15 per cent reduction conditional on a global agreement) is simply inadequate to deal with the problem.

In our view the CPRS fails on the following criteria:

First, while there can be no doubt that a high carbon price will result in a significant transformation of the Australian economy, it must be remembered that such transformation is the actual goal of an emissions trading scheme. It is ironic that while the usual purpose of compensation packages is to ease the pain of such transformation, in the case of the Rudd Government’s package compensation is being used to prevent such a transformation. The CPRS actually rewards the major corporate emitters for failing to act despite having been on notice since at least 1997 that the emission reduction targets would be adopted.

Second, the most significant consequence of the global financial crisis is to increase uncertainty and, in turn, reduce new investment. The creation of more ambitious emission targets would provide certainty that would stimulate major investment in renewable energy infrastructure. The consensus scientific and economic opinion is that the consequences of failing to address climate change will dwarf the costs of the current financial unrest.

Third, the Rudd scheme structures the compensation opportunities for energy-intensive, trade-exposed corporations in such a way as to provide an incentive for these corporations to expand production and emissions. This will effect further restructuring of Australian industry that consolidates its energy-intensive character to the disadvantage of low-energy, energy-efficient industries.

Fourth, the proposed compensation of trade-exposed energy-intensive industries is underpinned by the implicit notion that government should ensure a level, and thus competitive, playing field. Yet the proposed compensation package will benefit industry sectors dominated by international corporations which hold considerable market power. The proposed compensation package will further enhance that market power not create competitive markets.

Fifth, the Rudd government has designed a scheme in which every tonne of emissions saved by households frees up an extra permit for the aluminium or steel industry to expand their pollution. In addition to destroying the moral incentive for households to ‘do their bit’ to reduce emissions, this design feature renders all other policies aimed at reducing emissions pointless. For example, households who spend $7,000 installing photovoltaic solar panels might believe that they are helping to reduce emissions but in fact the only impact of such investment will be to slightly lower the demand, and in turn the price, of the fixed number of pollution permits issued by the government.

Sixth, the Rudd scheme fails to cost the complex administrative arrangements that will be required in order to effect the auctioning, the free allocations and the redistribution of permit revenues across the economy.

The CPRS is based on neither sound economics nor sound science. We call on the Government, or the Senate, to make major improvements to the proposed ‘solution’ to Australia’s rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions.

These improvements should include:

  • Lifting the targets to 25-40% by 2020 based on the latest scientific evidence
  • Abolishing the free permits granted to the biggest polluters
  • Ensuring that individual action results in lower emissions, not lower carbon prices

Unless these major flaws in the CPRS can be fixed the government should introduce a carbon tax as a matter of urgency.

In the meantime, we would strongly urge all Australian governments to immediately introduce incentives to maximise investment in the development and use of renewable and low-emissions technologies.

Dr James Arvanitakis University of Western Sydney

Dr Lynne Chester Curtin University of Technology

Dr Richard Denniss Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Adj Associate Professor ANU

Assoc Prof Steve Keen University of Western Sydney

Dr Andrew Mack Macquarie University

Prof Barbara Pocock University of South Australia

Prof John Quiggin University of Queensland

Dr Stuart Rosewarne University of Sydney

Dr Ben Spies-Butcher Macquarie University

Prof Frank Stilwell University of Sydney