The collapse of Mr Rudd's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme presents Australia with a great opportunity to move ahead with meaningful climate action, the Australian Greens said today in a letter to the Prime Minister and Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong.
The letter calls on the Minister and Prime Minister to commence discussions with the Greens on a suite of measures to begin reducing Australia's emissions immediately. This includes bringing on the Renewable Energy Target legislation on Monday and moving towards a renewable energy feed-in tariff, forest protection, clean transport and comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades.
"The collapse of the Continue Polluting Regardless Scheme provides Australia with a great opportunity to move ahead with ambitious action on the climate crisis," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"The CPRS would have locked in failure on the climate crisis with its inexcusably weak emissions target and its $16 billion handout to polluters. Three in four Australians support the Greens' decision to reject the bill if the Government refused to toughen it up.
"The collapse of the CPRS opens the door to a suite of other measures that can be implemented immediately, before an amended CPRS returns to the Parliament, in order to begin reducing Australia's emissions without delay.
"Now is the time to move ahead, re-powering Australia with renewable energy, upgrading our energy efficiency, shifting to sustainable transport and protecting our vast and wonderful forest carbon stores.
"We Greens are calling on the Government to immediately bring on the Renewable Energy Target legislation, to unleash the tremendous potential of renewable energy to repower Australia and create tens of thousands of jobs.
"Both the big old parties have been using Australia's clever and clean renewable energy industry as a political football. Both old parties bend over backwards to sandbag the old polluters, but neither is willing to give priority to the renewable energy powerhouse that the Australian community wants."
The letter, from Senators Brown and Milne to Prime Minister Rudd and Minister Wong, sets out the Greens' proposals for an amended emissions trading scheme, as well as complementary measures on forest protection, renewable energy, sustainable transport and energy efficiency.
"We invite the Government to immediately engage in constructive discussions with the Greens on this proposal, so we can together create meaningful action on the climate crisis."
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