Sunday, October 11, 2009

Greens unveil emissions scheme amendments

By Online parliamentary correspondent Emma Rodgers

ABC News Online, Posted 12 October 2009
The Greens have unveiled their proposed changes to the Government's emissions trading scheme which, as expected, call for higher emissions reduction targets and less compensation to big polluters.
The Greens have issued 22 amendments to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
They propose several major alterations to the scheme, including lifting the minimum emissions cut from 5 per cent to at least 25 per cent by 2020.
Compensation for electricity generators is also "not justified" and all permits should be auctioned, with no free permits going to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries.
The Greens are also pushing for the $10 price cap on permits to be abolished and a limit of 20 per cent put on the amount of permits that can be bought from overseas.
Overseas permits could only be bought from "least developed" countries which meet a "gold standard" requirement to ensure they are credible.
"The Greens are with the scientists and with the community and with the global community in recognising we really have to deal with climate change and do it urgently," Greens Senator Christine Milne told Radio National.
However, the Government is likely to continue its focus on working with the Coalition to pass the scheme, with the five Greens votes not enough to get it through the Senate.
Support from Family First Senator Steve Fielding and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon would also be needed, which at this stage is unlikely.
The Government is also unlikely to agree to a substantially higher emissions reduction target.
But Senator Milne denies the Greens have no place at the negotiating table.
"I would suggest it's the Government and the Coalition that are off message and off playing political games when we really have to get on with this," she said.
The legislation will go before the Senate in November for the second time after it was defeated it August.
If it is rejected a second time the Government will be able to call a double dissolution election.
The Government is at loggerheads with the Coalition over the scheme.
The Coalition is yet to decide on its own proposed amendments to the scheme.

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