CPRS now up for debate



Penny Wong

Credit: Wikimedia

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Legislation to introduce a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has today been introduced to the Parliament.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the introduction of the legislation was historic, marking the culmination of ten years of work under both Labor and Coalition governments to legislate an emissions trading scheme in the Federal Parliament.

Senator Wong said the Government remained determined to pass the package of Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bills in the winter session, to give certainty to business and to enable Australia to go to Copenhagen with a clear plan to meets its targets.

"Passage of the legislation this year is squarely in Australia's national interest,'' Wong said.

"It delivers the investment certainty business needs during these difficult economic times.

"And it enables us to advocate for the global agreement we need to protect future generations of Australians from the most damaging impacts of climate change.''

Earlier this month, the Government announced new measures for the CPRS, including:

  • A delay in the start date of the CPRS of one year to 1 July 2011, to manage the impacts of the global recession.
  • A commitment to reduce carbon pollution by 25 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020 if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal to stabilise levels of CO2 equivalent in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million.
  • The establishment of Australian Carbon Trust to encourage households to do their bit by investing directly in reducing Australia's emissions and to drive energy efficiency in buildings.

"We would call on all parties to heed the calls of business groups and environment groups and pass this legislation this year,'' Wong said.

"In addition, a number of key scientists working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have called for this legislation to be passed quickly so we can get on with the job of reducing carbon pollution."

Senator Wong today moved a notice of motion to establish a Senate Economics Committee inquiry into the package of CPRS Bills to report by 15 June 2009.