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Frustrated by Rudd’s ETS Backflip, Thousands Call for Massive Federal Budget Investment in Renewable Energy
MELBOURNE - Frustrated by the Rudd Government’s inaction on climate change, a broad coalition of prominent Australians and organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people have signed an open letter (see below) calling for the government to massively increase renewable energy investment in tomorrow’s federal budget.
Notable signatories include:
- Progressive online campaign organisation Get Up!, boasting over 350,000 supporters
- Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
- Leading climate scientist Professor David Karoly
- Guy Pearse, Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute and author of High and Dry
- Major national environmental organisations Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria and Greenpeace Australia
- The Australian Youth Climate Coalition, with a membership of over 50,000
- Renewable energy advocate the Alternative Technology Association
- Renewable energy industry group the Australian Solar Energy Society
- The independent think tank The Australia Institute
- The Electrical Trades Union Victoria
- Over 30 community-based climate groups from around Australia.
“The time has come for the Rudd government to take an ambitious nation-building approach to climate policy. Labor should commit to a renewable energy project with the scale and vision of a Snowy Mountains Scheme for the 21st Century,” says Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director Matthew Wright.
“There is a critical need for public investment in large-scale renewable energy projects and climate-friendly infrastructure. These projects are the best way to reduce Australia’s emissions and protect the nation from dangerous climate change,” says Matthew Wright.
“Most Australians would be shocked that the Rudd government is investing up to 28 times more money in the broadband rollout than in renewable energy and climate-friendly infrastructure*. With a funding differential like this, it’s reasonable to presume that our Prime Minister considers slow internet a greater moral challenge than climate change.”
Wright says, “Public investment in sustainable infrastructure should match the investment in the National Broadband Network at a bare minimum.”
* Between $22-43 billion in the National Broadband Rollout compared to $1.5 billion for the Solar Flagships program announced in the 2009-10 budget.
Letter to the Honourable Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the Honourable Treasurer Wayne Swan, and Members of the Government
The Critical Need for Renewable Energy Investment in the 2010/11 Budget
May 10, 2010
Dear Prime Minister Rudd, Treasurer Swan, and Members of the Government,
We express our profound concern that your government has still not proposed or implemented any policy to significantly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when climate change experts agree we must act, it is imperative that your government begins efforts to de-carbonise our national economy.
Australia cannot afford to waste any more time in responding to the climate crisis. This is why we call for the Rudd Government to scale-up investment in renewable energy and climate-friendly infrastructure in this year’s federal budget.
Australia needs a nation-building project for climate change with the scale and vision of a Snowy Mountains Scheme for the 21st Century. Such an initiative will drive our transition away from fossil fuels towards a clean, renewable energy economy. This approach will spur economic development and create good Australian jobs. It will put Australia on track to achieve the emissions reductions needed to protect the nation from dangerous climate change.
We call for a fiscal commitment to a nation-building project that at least matches the $22 to $42 billion your government will invest in the rollout of a national broadband network.
An investment package for this infrastructure will demonstrate your government’s commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change, recognised widely and by your own government as “the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our generation.”
Alternative Technology Association
Ararat Greenhouse Action Group Inc.
The Australia Institute
Australian Solar Energy Society
Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Bayside Climate Change Action Group
Beyond Zero Emissions Inc.
Climate Action Canberra
Climate Action Calendar
Climate Action Newtown
Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle
Climate Emergency Network
C4 (Communities Combating Climate Crisis)
Dandenong Ranges Renewable Energy Association Inc
Darebin Climate Action Now
Electrical Trades Union Victorian Branch
Emerald for Sustainability
Friends of the Earth Australia
Greenleap Strategic Institute
Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Healesville Environment Watch Inc.
Jewish Ecological Coalition
Kingston Conservation and Environment coalition
Locals Into Victoria's Environment
Mount Alexander Sustainability Group
National Toxics Network
Parramatta Climate Action Network
Postgraduate Environment Network (PEN)
Renewable is Do-able (Save Solar Systems Campaign)
Surf Coast Energy Group
Sustainability in Stonnington
Sutherland Climate Action Network
Sydney University Climate Action Collective
Transition Kurilpa, Brisbane
Victorian Climate Action Centre
Victorian Climate Action Calendar
Western Region Environment Centre
Yarra Climate Action Now
3CR Community Radio
Dr. Geoff Davies, Senior Fellow in Geophysics at the Australian National University
Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
Dr Nina Hall, Director Climate Action Network Australia
Mick Harris, Managing Director EnviroGroup
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute, the University of Queensland
Professor David Karoly, climate scientist, University of Melbourne
Tony Kevin, former senior Australian diplomat and author of Crunch Time
Guy Pearse, Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute and author of High and Dry