Stronger Aussie targets needed for the climate and economy

The Federal Government should adopt strong carbon pollution reduction targets following Treasury modelling that highlights the affordability of action to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions, the Australian Conservation Foundation said.

“Only one of the four scenarios modelled by Treasury - the one that looks at a 25 per cent cuts in emissions by 2020 - would give our natural icons like the Great Barrier Reef any chance of survival,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.

“To be an influential leader on climate change, the Australian Government needs to set a 2020 target towards the top of the 25-40 per cent range set out by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change so we can play a strong role in the global negotiations.

“The Treasury modelling confirms that a 25 per cent cut by 2020 is affordable and achievable.

“The difference between strong and weak targets is tiny for the economy, but massive for priceless treasures like our Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu.

“Many of Australia’s most special places face devastation from climate change unless Australia shows greater leadership and a stronger commitment to reduce our carbon pollution.

“The Treasury has poured cold water on claims by big polluters that businesses will leave Australia if the government doesn’t hand over more cash compensation.

“It’s up to the Government now to lead the way with a strong 2020 target to cut greenhouse emissions and policies that will stimulate massive growth in the creation green collar jobs market.”

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