Thursday, April 16, 2009

Govt undeterred by Garnaut's emissions scheme criticism

ABC News Online, 17 April 2009 

Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has brushed aside criticism the Government's proposed emissions trading scheme is so flawed, it may be better to dump it.

The Government's former climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, says that unless there are significant changes to the proposed scheme, it might be better to start from scratch.

Professor Garnaut yesterday told a Senate inquiry, it was a "lineball" call whether it would be better to push ahead with the proposed scheme with its flaws, or start from scratch.

Opposition Climate Change spokesman Greg Hunt says the Government cannot ignore the criticism.

"Professor Garnaut was Kevin Rudd's hand picked high priest of climate change," he said.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says the Government needs to take notice of the criticism.

"The Rudd Government's credibility is very much on the line," she said.

But Senator Wong says starting again is not an option.

"People have their own opinions. The Government's made decisions in the national interest," she said.

"Going back to the drawing board on emissions trading would significantly increase business uncertainty."

However, she says the Government will consider a suggestion from fellow Labor senators to amend the proposed legislation to make sure voluntary action by the community to reduce emissions is taken into account when setting targets.

The Government wants the scheme operating by mid next year.

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