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11 July 2011 - HSI welcomes announcement on carbon price mechanism      


11 July 2011


Humane Society International (HSI) welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement on a carbon price mechanism.

“Finally, Australia is in a position to commence taking serious action to address climate change,” said HSI Director Michael Kennedy. 

“Internationally, Australian action to establish a carbon pricing mechanism will also place Australia in a position of being able to argue with much more credibility on the need for all countries to take effective action to curb emissions,” said Mr. Kennedy.

HSI has long argued for an emissions reduction target well above the Government /Coalition target of 5% by 2020. So we are very pleased to see a new commitment by the Government to an 80% reduction target by 2050.

The historic Labour, Greens and Independent’s agreement on a carbon price mechanism will be extremely important in moving Australia to a low emissions economy.

In the light of this announcement, HSI urges the Liberal and Nationals Parties to seriously consider the Government’s proposals with a view to re-casting Coalition policy on climate change action.

“For many years HSI has argued that a carbon price mechanism must include action to protect Australia’s natural biodiversity.  This is because Australia’s biodiversity contains important stores of carbon and that this biodiversity will be under intense pressure from a warming climate,” stated Mr.  Kennedy.

Therefore, HSI is particularly pleased to see that as part of the mechanism carbon emitters, both in the fixed and flexible price phases will be able to offset part of their emissions by purchasing credits from some actions that conserve biodiversity, such as through avoided land clearing.  Unfortunately, the mechanism at this stage will not encourage other important biodiversity conservation actions, such as actions to change logging practices, and HSI urges Labour, the Greens and Independents to ensure the mechanism allows offsets from all relevant conservation actions.

In addition to the use of offsets, HSI has also supported the allocation of part of the carbon price revenue to biodiversity actions that may fall outside of offsetting arrangements.

“HSI is therefore very pleased with the proposal to establish a $1 Billion Biodiversity Fund under the Minister for Environment for direct biodiversity conservation purposes.  This funding will provide a very welcome boost to somewhat low level of biodiversity funding covered in the Caring for our Country program,” said Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy continued, “An important part of Australia’s action to combat climate change will be to support actions to conserve the great green natural carbon stores of the world contained in intact tropical rainforests, particularly in our Region.”

HSI therefore calls on the Government to ensure that the price mechanism in both the fixed and flexible price phases has provisions that allow emitters to offset part of their emissions through the purchase of credits from Reducing  Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation ( REDD+) from other countries.

HSI looks forward to working with all political parties in implementing the important carbon price reform mechanism, particularly in the ways it can contribute to protecting natural green carbon stores both here and overseas, and in supporting biodiversity /climate change adaptation measures.


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