Greenpeace welcomes carbon price – but more to do to secure a clean energy future

Press release - 30 June, 2012
Sunday 1 July 2012: Greenpeace Australia Pacific today welcomed the coming into force of the carbon price, but warned there is still more to do to ensure Australia moves to a low carbon future and contributes to international efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.

“A price on carbon is an important step in Australia's shift from a polluting economy to a clean energy future,” said Ben Pearson, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Program Director.

“By making polluters pay for their pollution, the carbon price will help drive investment in cleaner alternatives.  It will also complement programmes such as the Renewable Energy Target, and energy efficiency measures will see safe and clean industries create wealth and jobs in Australia in the coming decades.”

However, much remains to be done to ensure that Australia plays its role internationally in keeping global warming below two degrees above pre-industrial levels. In particular, calling a halt to the massive and reckless coal boom centered on the Galilee Basin in Queensland. If current plans are realised, development in the Galilee Basin alone could more than double Australian coal exports, at a time when the use of coal has to be dramatically reduced to avoid dangerous climate change.

“The coal export boom is an internationally significant threat to efforts to keep warming below two degrees and will also have serious ramifications for the Great Barrier Reef”, said Pearson. “To avoid dangerous climate change we need to reduce coal use – not massively increase coal exports.”

Greenpeace is also calling on the Australian Government to withdraw the $100 million grant awarded by the Howard Government to the proposed new dirty coal-fired power station, HRL, in Victoria. The deadline for the project to meet a range of conditions was 30 June 2012.

“If the Gillard Government misses this opportunity to cancel HRL's grant, they face the embarrassing prospect of the "Clean Energy Future" kicking off with a new dirty brown coal power station,” concluded Pearson.

For media interviews contact:

James Lorenz, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager, 0400 376 021