We need strong action on emissions trading

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The Garnaut report released earlier this year made the case for a robust emissions trading scheme. If Australia is to combat climate change, Federal Labor needs to take immediate action to reduce the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere.

As activists, we have a duty to lobby senior Ministers in parliament to do everything they can to urgently implement an effective emissions trading system. After all, it is our generation that will need to deal with the problems that are not addressed today.

Without strong action now, by 2050 – in our lifetime – we may face an even more serious economic and environmental crisis than the one we face now. Our standard of living will inevitably decrease, our food supplies will be threatened and our environment will be devastated.

Big business and climate change skeptics inevitably complain that introducing a strong emissions trading scheme will damage our economy. The Stern Report and now the Garnaut Report put those concerns to rest. To do nothing would do more damage than an ETS ever could.

For Australia to take early action now would put as in a better position down the track, as larger polluters are forced to transition to a carbon constrained economy. If we are early adopters and developers of carbon reducing technology, we will be able to export our expertise. New climate-friendly industries – already a massive growth area in the US and Europe – will be opened to Australian investment.

Federal Labor must not waiver from their duty to the future. Kevin Rudd promised long-term thinking. We need Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to stand up to the self-interest of big business and the climate change skeptics in the Opposition.

Web: Garnaut Review

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