Radical action on climate change was central to Labor’s 2007 election campaign. Yet the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) – which includes a dismal target of 5 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 – is a joke.
Most serious scientists claim we need cuts of between 60 and 80 per cent within the next ten years. Anything less will result in major climatic change!
Labor’s market ‘solutions’ like carbon taxes, credits and permits are no answer to the climate emergency we face. These schemes include handouts of more than $9 billion to some of Australia’s wealthiest polluting companies. Emissions trading schemes are ineffective as they do nothing to reduce emissions at the source.
Unfortunately many environment groups and the Greens support these market based schemes. The reality is that they are just another way to make ordinary people pay while letting big business of the hook. The urgent task at hand is to make big business pay!
Pricing carbon simply means rising costs for households, as big business pass on the costs, rather than reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
Labor Governments at both a state and federal level are continuing to prop up big business polluters while refusing to seriously invest in renewables. Millions of dollars have been handed out to expand dirty brown coal production while solar and wind technology has only received a few crumbs off the table.
Labor is more interested in protecting the profits of big business than tackling our climate emergency. This is why they are reliant on market based measures that put private profits before the environment and provide no solution to the climate crisis.
Real action on climate change is an opportunity for urgently needed job creation in new green technologies. For instance the expansion of environmentally-friendly public transport would create thousands of jobs both during construction as well as in operation.
Factories that are closing because of the recession should be retooled to manufacture solar panels and wind turbines for environmentally friendly electricity generation.
We will not be able to seriously address climate change unless we take on big business and their ability to make profits from polluting. We need planned investment into new green technologies, not more subsidies to the big polluters.
The facts are that you can not control what you don’t own. The only way that the big polluters can be stopped, and that we can cut emissions, is if they are under public control.
It is the anarchy of the unfettered market that has failed to provide a stable economy and it is these same ‘market forces’ that are incapable of protecting our environment. In this way the economic crisis and the environmental crisis are linked. Both require socialist solutions that put people and the environment first.
The above article will be distributed as a leaflet at the national climate emergency rallies over the weekend.
National climate emergency rally
The Socialist Party is supporting the national climate emergency rallies that will take place in major cities on Saturday June 13. The demonstrations will be calling for green jobs, more investment in renewables and for climate policies that make the big polluters pay.
We will have stalls in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and will be distributing a new leaflet that outlines socialist solutions to the environmental crisis.
By SP reporters