News

Disappointment in Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Defeat

13 August 2009

The Uniting Church in Australia has today expressed its bitter disappointment over the failure of the Parliament to pass legislation that will support the prompt introduction of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

The National Director of UnitingJustice Australia, Rev. Elenie Poulos, questioned the commitment of the Opposition to seriously reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

"The Opposition appears determined not to listen to the will of the Australian electorate no matter how many concessions it wins," Rev. Poulos said.

"The Federal Government has failed to deliver on the promises it made when elected in 2007. "It bowed to the pressure of an industry lobby hell-bent on maintaining its polluting ways, yet it still failed to gain the support of the Opposition: an Opposition which itself seems unable to come to terms with what is happening with the planet.

"It is time for the Government to listen to the people and deliver a scheme that will dramatically reduce our emissions and set us on a course to be a world leader in the low-carbon economy.

"It is time for the Opposition to leave the sceptics behind and come on board.

"And it is time for both sides of politics to put political point-scoring aside in the interests of the future of our planet.

"No emissions trading scheme is going to be implemented without cost but, as the Uniting Church has consistently pointed out, the cost of not acting on climate change will far outweigh that needed to transition to a low-carbon economy."

Rev. Poulos said that pricing carbon was absolutely essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are extremely concerned that resistance to the CPRS is based on a limited and short-term approach to the country's future wellbeing, when it is entirely self-evident that the health of our economy is dependent on the health of the planet," she said.

"Australia will suffer much greater impacts from climate change than other developed countries if quick and decisive global action is not taken."

Rev. Poulos also said that it was in Australia's best interests to lead by example.

"The rejection of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in the lead up to the UN climate change talks in December this year sends a strong message to the international community that Australia is a country still unwilling to do its fair share on climate change."