AusSMC: The delay of the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) until at least 2013 has prompted a wave of political backlash. But while it is very much a political decision, what does the back down mean for the science of climate change?
Professor Andrew Blakers is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems and of the ARC Centre for Solar Energy Systems at the Australian National University, Canberra, comments:
“Given the delay in ETS, I think that the Government needs to work hard in other climate change mitigation areas.
– comprehensive and rapid tightening of minimum energy performance standards for all products and buildings
– substantial increase in funding of R&D and manufacturing of low-carbon technology, in particular solar, geothermal and wind.”
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland comments:
“I think it’s very clear: This delay comes at a time when the Australian Academy and our nation’s best scientists are telling us that urgent action is needed today not tomorrow. Over 95% of the world’s most credible scientists are telling us that we are fast approaching the point in which Australia’s future, and that of the rest of the world, will be in extreme jeopardy. It is a shame that the government has failed to move forward and has had to back down on this issue due to the antics of the opposition. It seems that the latter would rather play politics than secure a future for our nation and its children.
“The question that should be posed to the government (and this goes for the opposition as well), is: if not the ETS, then what? What firm action is the government going to take to deal with this problem? (Perhaps a good place to start is the fact that we supply the world with 30% of its demand for coal. Shouldn’t we rethink that?)”