The Guardian April 24, 2002


Ways to cut greenhouse

The Greens have set out policies to begin cutting Australia's greenhouse 
gas emissions, at the same time criticising the Labor Party's inaction. 
Greens Senator Bob Brown said recent figures showing there has been a big 
increase in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are as much an indictment 
of the Labor Party as the Government.

"The Labor Party's criticism of the Howard Government's failures will 
remain toothless until it adopts clear hard-hitting policies of its own", 
said Senator Brown.

The Greens' proposals include:

* a carbon tax of $25 per tonne of CO2, as recommended by the OECD. This 
would raise $6.8 billion per year to reduce pollution and create jobs, 
including cuts to payroll taxes, making public transport GST-free and 
reinstating the Energy, Research and Development Corporation which was 
abolished by the Howard Government when it came to office in 1996.

* Tasmania's Labor Government to stop destroying the largest carbon banks 
in the southern hemisphere in old growth forests like the Styx Valley and 
the Tarkine. It should abandon the Basslink electricity project which will 
lead to over a million tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted and 
implement energy conservation initiatives such as home insulation and solar 
hot water and an industrial energy efficiency program.

* Victoria's Labor Government should abandon the current sell-off of the 
massive brown coal reserves in the La Trobe Valley and divert money from 
planned freeways to public transport, and also pursue an industrial energy 
efficiency program.

* The NSW Government should cancel the Mogo charcoal plant which will burn 
200,000 tonnes of native forest each year, and stop clearing 60,000 
hectares of native vegetation each year.

* Queensland's Labor Government should end its practice of clearing 588,000 
hectares per annum of native vegetation, one of the world's worst clearing 
rates.

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