GreenPower: keep it real

Consumers shouldn't pay more to pollute less so big business can pay less to pollute more.
 
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  • Updated:10 Mar 2009
 

01 .GreenPower: Keep it real!

We think that the government’s proposed CPRS undermines the actions of Australians motivated to reduce carbon emissions, and prevents you from taking meaningful action on climate change. Watch our video and sign our petition to Senator Penny Wong to make your actions count!

Video: CPRS: Why your contributions don't count.

Kate Norris demonstrates exactly what's wrong with the government's proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme.

 
 

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Nearly every Australia has already taken action to reduce their carbon emissions. Whether you are turning off lights or driving less, buying carbon offsets or even installing solar panels. We are all concerned about climate change, and we want to know that our actions count. And that what we are doing is helping to reduce the impacts of climate change.

But under the government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), what you do to reduce carbon emissions won’t make a difference at all to Australia’s total emissions. In fact, the more emissions you abate through your actions, the more emissions Australia’s biggest polluters can pollute.

In 2008, GreenPower provided over 1.8 million megawatt hours per annum to over 877,000 households and 34,000 businesses. Under the government’s proposal all 1.8 million MWh generated each year through GreenPower simply won't count as additional to the mandatory target.

We think that the government’s proposed CPRS undermines the actions of Australians motivated to reduce carbon emissions, and prevents you from taking meaningful action on climate change. 

An emissions trading scheme can be an important part of Australia’s response to climate change, but it cannot be the only response and it must not undermine other action. We all have the right – indeed, we should be encouraged – to act independently to play a part in tackling climate change.

We want the government to ensure that your voluntary actions to reduce carbon emissions are counted as additional to the government-mandated cap.

Use the player below to listen to the CHOICE Radio podcast on this topic.



Subscribe to CHOICE Radio.

03.What's CHOICE doing?

 

To better help consumers make genuine green choices, CHOICE is dedicated to  stamping out greenwash and encouraging more transparent value-for-money from environmental products.


That’s why we rank green products and services, make it easy to quickly
find the best value green power  and pick a carbon offset provider  that delivers the greatest benefit for the environment.

But we’re concerned that under the government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, every Australian household that’s been quietly chipping in to make our world a little greener will in fact, feel duped.

We want to be able to continue to support consumers’ green power in good faith. And it's not too late. So we’ll be speaking out publicly, as well as in meetings with government and business leaders, as much as possible – to see that this design flaw is fixed. And we want you to speak up too.



What we want

We want the government to amend the legislation to:

a)       remove the 2009 baseline and instead account for all GreenPower purchases as additional to the mandatory target;

b)       clearly define voluntary actions and the activities that will be considered under this definition for the purpose of counting them as additional to the mandatory emissions reductions target;

c)       require that voluntary actions result in the abatement of greenhouse gases additional to mandatory emissions reduction targets;

d)       retire a CPRS Permit and an Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) for every tonne of abatement from voluntary action;

e)       require that voluntary action is accounted for over and above the 2020 end point target; and

f)        develop complementary measures which describe the process by which voluntary actions will be accounted for and reported upon. And set a realistic timeframe for measuring emissions saved through voluntary action. An annual reporting timeframe is proposed as it would to inspire consumers and business to take even more voluntary action.

04.Sign our online petition

 

What you can do

We are continuing to take your concerns to the highest levels, but we need your help. Your continued backing sends a persistent message to the government on just how important this issue is to you.

  • Sign our petition and send an email to Minister Wong.
  • See our collaboration on voluntary action - CHOICE with the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, Total Environmental Centre and others are working together to press government to lead on this issue.
  • Tell your friends and family about the challenge of GreenPower and voluntary action. Ask them to sign the campaign. The government are starting to think that you voluntary action is a non-issue, let show them that it's not!
  • Write a letter to your local member and tell them about your concerns - they will vote on it later this year in parliament, so now is the time to say something.
  • Read our editorial on GreenPower in The Punch - then send it to your friends, and/or make a comment.
  • Listen to our podcast on GreenPower at CHOICE Radio - then send it to your friends.

    05.Campaign news and updates

     

     

    23rd October 2009

    GreenPower: Keep It Real - Just One Month to Go to be Heard


    With less that one month until the government votes for a second time on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, it is more important than ever to let your elected members know your concerns on GreenPower and voluntary action!

    Thanks to your efforts, this issue is hotting up! Your concerns on GreenPower and voluntary action have been recognised by all major parties and many Australian citizens and businesses.

    Both the Greens and the Liberal Party support consumers being able to take action voluntarily, and for that action to be considered over and above the mandatory requirements of the CPRS. And they are not the only ones, state and local government, non-government organisations and industry associations also want voluntary actions to be recognised.

    Now we just need the Labor Government to better reflect your concerns in their legislation. At the moment they are still only recognising new sales of GreenPower (using 2009 sales levels as a baseline) and no other voluntary actions. But we want all your actions to count.

    We’re partnering to make sure your actions count
    To make this happen, CHOICE with Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, Total Environment Centre, Alternative Technology Association, Environment Victoria, and Moreland Foundation recently created a coalition of organisations dedicated to ensuring that your voluntary actions are accounted for.

    We are calling on the federal government to amend the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme to:
    • Establish a voluntary market mechanism within which accredited, verifiable emission reduction activities that are additional to the CPRS can be registered;
    • Extinguish a carbon pollution permit under the CPRS within 12 months for each measurable and verified unit of voluntary action undertaken in covered sectors in Australia;
    • Extinguish Kyoto Units equivalent to the measurable and verified voluntary action undertaken in Australia within 12 months, ensuring that aggregate greenhouse emissions in Australia are actually reduced;
    • Remove the 2009 baseline and accredit all GreenPower purchases in such a voluntary market, as additional to the mandatory CPRS and Kyoto targets; and
    • Incorporate other voluntary actions including carbon offsets, installation of small scale renewable generation units and energy efficiency programs into this voluntary market.

    What you can do
    We are continuing to take your concerns to the highest levels, but we need your help. Your continued backing sends a persistent message to the government on just how important this issue is to you.

    • See our collaboration on voluntary action – CHOICE with the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF Australia, Total Environmental Centre and others are working together to press government to lead on this issue.
    • Tell your friends and family about the challenge of GreenPower and voluntary action. Ask them to sign the campaign. The government are starting to think that your voluntary action is a non-issue, lets show them that its not!
    • Write a letter to your local member and tell them about your concerns – they will vote on it later this year in parliament, so now is the time to say something.
    • Listen to our podcast on GreenPower at CHOICE Radio – then send it to your friends.
    • Read our editorial on GreenPower in The Punch – then send it to your friends, and/or make a comment.


     

     

    9th October 2009


    Read our media release Consumers robbed of GreenPower

    22nd September 2009


    Government consults on GreenPower and voluntary action

    In June 2009 the Department of Climate Change held workshops around Australia to discuss how voluntary actions might be accounted for under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). The workshops, held in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were attended by experts and community members alike.

    We were delighted that several CHOICE members volunteered their time to join us in attending the workshops. Their participation was critical to consumers having a voice at the workshops. The feedback that we’ve received has provided CHOICE with valuable insights into consumers’ views of voluntary action.

    The government highlighted the different types of voluntary action that they will consider taking into account:
    • GreenPower, above 2009 levels
    • the construction or renovation of houses to a star-rating above the minimum required;
    • the use of public transport and the expansion of public transport services;
    • the uptake of more energy efficient appliances beyond regulated levels; and
    • the overall fuel efficiency of the passenger vehicle fleet.

    Other ideas generated at the meeting included accounting for:
    • behavioural changes like walking to work or eating less red meat;
    • household waste reductions;
    • small scale renewable energy generation;
    • purchase of low-emissions vehicles beyond price signals;
    • public transport patronage; and
    • telecommuting.

    The workshop also discussed measuring voluntary action at a macro level or bottom-up approach:
    o a ‘bottom-up approach’ in which individual voluntary actions by households are summed to produce an estimate of total emission reductions from voluntary action; and
    o a ‘macro-level approach’ in which total household emissions are compared against a projected benchmark. The difference between actual measured emissions and the projected benchmark is considered to be the level of voluntary action.

    The conclusion being that each had its own benefits and challenges and that a mixed approach would be best with different measures being appropriate for different types activities.

    Despite some successes at the workshop, CHOICE was concerned that the government was unwilling to discuss their position on GreenPower. This was a particularly important subject given there had been no community consultation for the decision. Debate ensued none the less, highlighting the significance of the government’s decision to put in place as 2009 baseline on GreenPower, and to account for it in the caps only after a five year delay.

    CHOICE continues to call on the government to:
    a) remove the 2009 baseline and instead account for all GreenPower purchases as additional to the mandatory target;
    b) clearly define voluntary actions and the activities that will be considered under this definition for the purpose of counting them as additional to the mandatory emissions reductions target;
    c) require that voluntary actions result in the abatement of greenhouse gases additional to mandatory emissions reduction targets;
    d) retire a CPRS Permit and an Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) for every tonne of abatement from voluntary action;
    e) require that voluntary action is accounted for over and above the 2020 end point target; and
    f) develop complementary measures which describe the process by which voluntary actions will be accounted for and reported upon. And set a realistic timeframe for measuring emissions saved through voluntary action. An annual reporting timeframe is proposed as it would to inspire consumers and business to take even more voluntary action.

    31st July 2009


    Operator: Give me the dirtiest electricity you’ve got!
    by Victoria Coleman
    Editorial published in the Punch 5th August 2009


    I recently rang my electricity company to discuss GreenPower. I knew I wanted 100% GreenPower but I didn’t want it now. I wanted it in January 2010. Right now, I want to do my bit to keep the government’s 2009 GreenPower baseline as low as possible – so my efforts towards emissions reductions really count.

    ‘Give me the dirtiest coal electricity you have,’ I said to the operator.

    I explained that under the government’s proposed emissions trading scheme, me paying extra for GreenPower wouldn’t actually reduce Australia’s carbon emissions – beyond what would happen if I didn’t take any action at all.

    But it would from 2010 - so I didn’t want to buy it until then.

    The operator replied tersely, ‘Victoria, I can guarantee that our GreenPower is fully accredited and it does reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.’

    The call left me with 100% dirty electricity and lingering questions over why GreenPower energy retailers were still guaranteeing emissions reductions even when they weren’t able to demonstrate it.

    We all cheered when Kevin Rudd committed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on 3rd December 2007, but implications of ratification means that any current action taken voluntarily by consumers or business to reduce carbon emissions - like purchasing GreenPower - is in vain.

    Last year the ACCC released new guidelines - Carbon Claims and the Trade Practices Act – in response to a proliferation of misleading carbon claims. The guidelines state that misleading carbon claim occurs when an energy retailer can not demonstrate that the emissions reduction is ‘additional’ to what would normally happen, or ‘business-as-usual’.

    By ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, the government guaranteed Australia would achieve a 108% emissions reduction target on 1990 levels by 2012. If we fail to meet this target domestically, the government will purchase additional credits internationally. Either way – we will achieve 108%. This essentially means that all present voluntary action, like GreenPower, is accounted for as ‘business-as-usual’.

    The government has tried to overcome this by making GreenPower additional to emission reduction targets under the CPRS using 2009 GreenPower sales as the baseline. But what about the 984,024 GreenPower customers that already pay a premium for GreenPower, without receiving any personal benefit other than knowing they are supporting renewable energy and thinking that they are reducing Australia’s greenhouse emissions?

    Since we committed to ratifying the protocol over 18 months ago, GreenPower, a government-accredited program guaranteeing renewable energy, has done remarkably well. It has increased its customer base by 243,144 customers, or a third – not bad for tough times. But are GreenPower retailers really being honest with their customers?

    I suspect the government-run GreenPower has known about this misleading carbon claim issue for a while but only this week have they contacted the retailers of GreenPower products to advise of a new communications strategy, the language of which is designed to keep you guessing:

    The tag line:
    GreenPower. A simple switch for you, significant results for our environment.

    Has been replaced with:
    GreenPower. A simple switch for you, renewable energy for our future.

    Meaning:
    You will continue to support renewable energy, but you will no longer achieve positive changes for the environment…

    The tag line:
    GreenPower. You have the power to make a real difference.

    Has been replaced with:
    GreenPower. You have the power to choose.

    Meaning:
    You will no longer make a difference, but you will have a choice to not make a difference…

    And energy retailers have been struggling to get their marketing pitch right. Many GreenPower retailers are misleading hundreds of thousands of households and that’s not okay, so far as CHOICE is concerned.

    Of course all this tricky marketing-speak would be irrelevant if the federal government were to remove its ridiculous 2009 baseline and made sure that every current and future GreenPower purchase is additional to Australia’s mandatory emissions reduction target – which is exactly what nearly a million households want when they choose GreenPower

    7th May 2009

    Climate changes leaves GreenPower Consumers in the dark

    The government has responded to your calls on voluntary actions, but it isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be.

    This week the government announced amendments to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme that included making 'GreenPower' additional to the mandatory target. This is an important win!

    The government will calculate new GreenPower purchases annually and take these into account in setting Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme caps every five years. The government has guaranteed that this will achieve emissions reductions beyond Australia's national mandatory targets.

    But like all good wins, there is a catch. Under the government’s changes GreenPower consumption levels in 2009 will be set as the baseline for futures measures. It is only any measure above that amount – or new sales – that will count.

    In 2008, GreenPower provided over 1.8 million megawatt hours per annum to over 877,000 households and 34,000 businesses. Under the government proposal all 1.8 million MWh generated each year through GreenPower simply won’t count as additional to the mandatory target.

    This means that for consumers, like you, who already purchase GreenPower, the actions you’ve already taken to reduce your carbon footprint won't be included in these measures, and won't serve to reduce Australia's emissions beyond the mandatory target.

    We think this is unacceptable. This clever accounting amounts to nothing more than smoke and mirrors. All GreenPower purchases should count!

    And it doesn't finish there; in April the Senate's Economics Committee review of the government's climate change bill agreed that 'voluntary action' broadly should be accounted for above mandatory targets. However, this week’s announcement only takes GreenPower into consideration and ignores all the other voluntary efforts that consumers are taking such as installing solar panels, switching light globes or purchasing fuel efficient cars.

    We know that all consumers want to be assured that their individual actions count. CHOICE will continue to talk to government on the behalf of all consumers that have already taken steps and want to be able to take more steps to the future to reduce their own and Australia's carbon emissions.

    What we want:
    a) remove the 2009 baseline and instead account for all GreenPower purchases as additional to the mandatory target
    b) ensure that voluntary actions result in the abatement of greenhouse gases additional to mandatory emissions reduction targets
    c) retire a CPRS Permit and an Assigned Amount Unit (AAU) for every tonne of abatement from voluntary action
    d) ensure that voluntary action is accounted for over and above the 2020 end point target

    The legislation has not yet passed, and we will continue to lobby for changes. Keep taking action to reduce your emissions.

    What you can do:
    Email to Minister Wong
    Learn more about other changes to the CPRS

    06.Campaign submissions

     

    CHOICE has made the following submissions regarding the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

    • CHOICE made a submission to the Senate Economics Committee on the CPRS
    • CHOICE submission to the Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy
    • CHOICE  supplementary submission the Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy outlining our concerns over the CPRS

    We have also written a letter to Ian Macfarlane, Shadow Minsiter for Energy and Resources.

     

    07.What you're saying

     

    Working in local government council environmental education, it is my job and joy to encourage folks and school children to do their part and reduce their carbon footprint. I have been doing this myself for years, even paying more for my power so it could come from renewable sources and it is infuriating and insulting to us all as members of the conscious caring public to allow Big Business and Industry to continue pollute on account of our efforts.


    I was paying GreenPower and when I knew this information I withdrew from the plan because I knew it was just a token gesture; get real or get out!


    When this Government was elected I thought you would be better for the environment than the Liberals. It appears you are sucking up to big business in the same manner.


    I'm a Greenpower producer. I've put 5MWh back onto the grid and will continue to generate more. But I wonder why I bother when the CPRS means that my efforts and expense are in vain. I'm just making it easier for aluminium smelters to reach your paltry target.

    The increases in energy costs as a result of the trading scheme will be paid indirectly by the consumers. It seems entirely counter-productive to create a feedback loop in the cycle in which both costs and consumption remain static. The biggest single factor driving the sustainable energy industry is consumer pressure, and this measure will effectively take it out of the equation.


    We need your leadership. I voted for Labor for many reasons, one of them because I hoped for leadership instead of politics as usual. Those of us who have followed the emerging concensus of climate scientists for many years do not underestimate the dilemmas that the government faces, but the climate emergency demands extraordinary qualities of leadership.


    If your current proposal goes through, I will stop making additional payments for green energy because they will have zero impact on the amount of investment in green power. Voluntary payments should not be counted towards the mandatory target because the extra investment that is made towards green power above and beyond the mandatory investment will help speed Australia towards its target because of greater investment. Removing all of this extra voluntary funding will slow down Australia's progress towards the target in return for minimal industry savings.

     

    With the legislation as it's currently proposed, we would probably cancel our GreenPower subscription. That would be a shame.


    It's time for the government to get real about greenhouse gas reduction. Pull your finger out or lose votes at the next election!


    I make daily decisions to reduce my carbon footprint, and I find it frustrating and offensive that big polluters are getting a free ride. How about introducing some INCENTIVES for them to plan for the future, find more efficient ways of operating, and reduce their carbon footprint over time? The longer we put it off, the harder it will be, and the less chance we have of a worthwhile outcome. Setting low targets assumes climate change will wait for us - it won't! At the same time, greenpower industries need support to get up and running, and in time may absorb some of the jobs lost in the high-polluting industries.
    supplementary submission


    I do not believe the current mandatory target goes far enough and feel that the actions that my children and I are taking in our home should be in addition to those targets.


    We need REAL action NOW on climate change. You need to take notice of the Australian people, and stop making decisions that only benefit the Government and big business.



    I was about to purchase Solar Power for my house to feed back into the grid. I am now seriously questioning if I should do this in light of the CPRS unless I get absolute guarantee that my contribution will count.


    This is a disgraceful and retrograde step. We will be cancelling our greenpower account and will not (as planned) install a solar hot water system on our roof unless this moronic situation is rectified.



    I have a little girl and I would like to have the world a better place for her to live than what the predicted outcome is. Create a better world for our children!


    This is a small, but frustrating and significant flaw in this CPRS. Why not empower Australians to make a difference in emissions reductions on this industrial level? Make the change for us, as we have already made changes.



    I am gobsmacked to hear about this swindle which is the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Please take steps immediately to account for all GreenPower purchases as additional to the mandatory target. All voluntary action taken by Australian households should be additional to the target.


    The Government has already taken a 'softly, softly' approach with Australia's largest polluters and under the proposed scheme they will still be able to purchase carbon credits generated by me - a single parent, low income householder who is making every possible effort to reduce my own emissions! The Government should be pushing industry to get serious about urgently reducing emissions, not finding ever increasing loopholes and compensation to get them off the hook.


    Households taking initiatives to cut their GHG emissions expect this effort -- ALL this effort -- to count towards reducing Australia's emissions overall -- of course. We request simple changes to fix the problem, otherwise we have been conned, haven't we ... the Government needs to ensure that voluntary actions to reduce emissions do more than just fulfilling the mandatory targets -- as we (consumers) intended.



    As with water individuals do their bit to conserve water, so should companies and this needs to be reflected in legislation and not rely on voluntary measures.

    Paying extra for 100% green power is something I consider worth it to support renewable and sustainable energy production in Australia. Having my purchase effectively give a free pass to energy companies to pollute more is a serious disincentive, especially combined with the changes to Solar Power credits. Don't punish individuals for taking greener options by rewarding companies with permission to pollute more.


    I voted for your government because I really believed you would make courageous decisions to prevent human climate change. I am extremely disappointed and feel decieved.


    I have a solar hot water system, water tanks, recycle and do my bit. I was ready to purchase GreenPower but am now reluctant due to this information. Please review the current CPRS. Average citizens will not continue with environmentally friendly practices if they amount to nothing.


    Please listen to the people, not the big corporations when setting climate change policy. It is our country, not theirs.


    Individuals already feel that climate change is too large a problem and that changes they make will not make much difference to the current situation. The government needs to do all it can to empower individuals and households so that people feel like their actions count.

    I can't believe that the government is letting this scheme act in this way. This is not promoting people to take small green steps. These small steps all add up. However it is extremly disheartening when the scheme of your own government counteracts your hardwork. Please amend the scheme so that we don't regret it and mopping up this mess for decades to come.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    08.What you're saying: part 2

     

    We happily paid over $18000 to install pv cells and solar hot water wanting to make a significant contribution to a cleaner world. We've been slapped in the face by this policy. Please make our contributions count as additional to the mandatory target.


    Unfortunately, Australia leads the world on climate change. It is time that we lead the world on tackling climate change.



    Words and rhetoric are meaningless unless they are accompanied by meaningful action. If you are serious about these measures then do it properly.



    As a resident of northern Victoria I face being among the first wave of Australian climate change refugees as my home town's water supply drys up. I have taken responsibility for my own impacts on the climate and laid out additional costs for Green Power, efficient globes, a bicycle, insulation and solar hot water only to find that this will count for nothing under your legislation. Please do whatever you can to prevent my and other's efforts being made meaningless.



    As a member of the Labor Party I am ashamed at the apparent cynicism of the Rudd government.


    I WANT to make a positive difference and am prepared to pay for that. However, I WILL NOT pay to allow others to pollute with what I pay for. There are much better ways to actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we should do it because it is simply the right thing to do.


    Voluntary action by individuals and small business should not just make it easier for big polluters to continue polluting. I want to make sure my actions make a difference.


    As a household who adopted green power in the early days we are alarmed that our decision to support this industry is being undermined by government policy. Please don't discourage people like us who have been paying extra for no economic return. There are a lot of people doing without other things to do this. Please don't include Greenpower in the mandatory target & take away the incentive.



    The actions the government are considering would undermine the Greenpower scheme and runs a very strong risk of wasting the money that I and others have set aside for carbon abatement. Unless all Greenpower is counted I wlll stop subscribing to it or any other Australian Government carbon abatement initiative and use the money to buy overseas carbon credits or private credits.


    I'm on 100% GreenPower and will be for the entirety of 2009. I am infuriated that, because of [the government's] policy, the impact of my goodwill will be a net increase in emissions compared to if I had started using GreenPower in 2010.



    We need to capture the value of our combined individual actions towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and this is an important step.


    After all the rhetoric about climate change leading up to the election I felt totally betrayed when the Prime Minister announced such weak targets for emissions reductions and the massive compensation for the major polluters. Then I learn that our solar panels and paying for 100% Greenpower will actually help the polluters. What a sham! The carbon lobby has obviously infiltrated this Government as much as it had the Howard Government. 



    Every action that each individual takes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has to count, otherwise we might as well just give up. It is ridiculous to make individuals pay more to pollute less, while then allowing big business to pay less to pollute more. We are all in this together, and we all suffer when our environment is degraded.



    The little people are doing ALL the hard yards. As usual, big money and big polluters make NO sacrifices.


    I want my choices to count. Companies that advertise or promote green anything falsely should be penalised to the fullest. Assistance to companies attempting to do the right thing should be supported. Why is buying green electricity supporting all the wrong things? It is self defeating and uninspiring. It also makes you less inclined to support green plans in case the same thing occurs.



    If Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong don't correct the current design flaw of the CPRS, which makes it cheaper and easier for high emission polluters to keep polluting, their environmental credentials cannot be taken seriously.


    Much more needs to be done about climate change before we suffer greater temperature increases and natural disasters. Households may need to reduce our perceived standard of living, business needs to cut profitability and governments need to stop pandering to business and developing impotent, popularist policy. This is serious.



    Government needs to get its act together and be proactive to save this planet before its too late!


    I object to paying extra so the big polluters can continue to pollute. It seems the public is more interested in saving the planet than the Government is.



    We are renovating our home and want to make choices that count towards reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but find the conflicting information messages often confusing and frustrating. Can't we put the good of our Earth before the spin and the politics?



    Significant thought, energy and finance are sacrificed by individuals during difficult times in order to be accountable and responsible and therefore deal with the critical issue of greenhouse gas emissions. That this significant effort only counts towards reducing the accountability and sacrifice of big business is demoralising and unethical. With this legislation in place, no matter how many individuals contribute, and no matter the magnitude of their personal sacrifice, no difference will be made to the critical carbon emissions produced by Australia as a nation. I believe that is the last thing to motivate anyone (especially 'big business') to make their best effort.



    The more incentive there is for households to be green, the greener society will be! It's CHEAPER in the long run.



    If the government is sincere in its stand against climate change and the environment generally, it will ensure that the people that are investing their money to help the environment are not being "slapped in the face". It just doesn't make sense that in a state like Queensland, with so many "sun" hours, that solar hot water and solar power are not HEAVILY subsidised, so that the option is available to everyone... but I suspect the money the government receives from these polluting industries "speaks loudly"...



    As a family we have taken significant efforts to reduce our consumption of energy and water. We are not at all happy that our efforts over many years could be used by others to reduce their contribution.

    We will be considering the outcome of all political parties policies at elections (local to federal). The environment is a *key* voting issue for us.

    The general issue of profligate waste of resources, including energy, is a serious one regardless of ones view on the Greenhouse effect (which we do think is only too real).

    Tricky deals, or legislative oversights, will be remembered in this household.


    How can it be reasonable that people like me (and many I know) make personal sacrifices like cutting out air travel, using public transport, spending up on photovoltiacs just to find it will make not difference. It is deeply insulting to those of us who have demonstrated how much we care about protecting our wonderful Earth.



    I have bought 100% GreenPower for a number of years to support the development of Australia's renewable energy industry and to decrease my environmental impact. It is unfair that my purchase of renewable energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions will help some polluter to emit more!


    I voted for the Labor government in the last Federal Election. I want the Labor government to fulfill the environmental mandate that voters handed to them - fair and responsible environmental action with care for our future. I don't want to be let down!


    I think it is more important to have to have a rigorous strong target - in line with what the science tells us is needed, but whatever target we have, we must design our scheme so that individual actions can and will make a difference.

    I am deeply concerned that the carbon reduction measures I have introduced in our home and home-based business will be negated by the (draft) legislation as proposed. Despite my strong belief that greenhouse gases must be reduced and are the individual responsibility of us all I feel my efforts are being undermined. This is a strong disincentive for me and the wider community to invest in further measures that will help our country to exceed the weak targets as proposed by the Rudd government. I will have to seriously consider the real value in investing further to reduce our carbon footprint.


    It is, as you say, insane that big polluters are given the right to expand their polluting to the extent we reduce it, the government must be mad, given that if we don't do anything about reducing global warming Australia maybe uninhabitable by 2050 (New Scientist , 28 feb 2009)



    This is ludicrous. People are forking out more cash to increase the demand for renewable energy, and to lower their household emissions - and the goose that designed the CPRS does not think this is worthy. That's rubbish! I say amend the CPRS to ensure GreenPower sales reduce the number of permits available to the major emitters.



    The CPRS in its present form disempowers consumers and will lead to apathy and disillusionment that action to reduce emissions by individuals in Australia will make no difference to the total emissions of the country.



    Consumers expect more from a CPRS in terms of setting ambitious targets and making everyone's efforts count. Let's get it right - fix the scheme and let us show that we are up for a real carbon reduction challenge.



    I purchased greenpower to ensure green house gases would be reduced, - every little bit counts! I am horrified to hear that big businesses can receive carbon polluting power for a cheaper price. They are obviously not being encouraged to reduce their power usage and my good intentions are therefore negated. This is corrupt and needs to be addressed urgently!!


    I expect the government to introduce measures that will help all householders reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and, moreover, to REQUIRE that they do so! Please Mr Rudd, take the lead to change our culture!


    Federal Government must change the proposed emissions trading scheme to make voluntary actions count. If they dont, it would change the way I vote - and I am sure the many thousands of others who have made a big effort to reduce our emissions would feel the same.


    We are voluntarily switching to solar power and hot water in our own home at considerable cost because it's the right thing to do! Make Big Business responsible too!!


    I wasn't aware of this flaw in the carbon trading scheme. I want my efforts to reduce my carbon footprint to make a difference, not give big industry pollutors an escape clause. Please plug this gaping hole in the system.



    It's important to encourage everyone (individuals, governments, companies) to conserve resources, because they are finite.



    The whole point of having a CPRS is to reduce emissions, not to subsidise big business to keep on producing more emissions.


    My efforts to reduce emissions are to protect the planet for my children; not give a free ride to polluters. I want my efforts to make a difference for my kids.


    In order to gain credibility within the community, it is essential that the CPRS ensures that personal, family and local actions to mitigate climate change are additional. Obviously, some fossil-fuel reliant businesses don't like being pressured to make substantial change, but they need to do so. National legislation and policy needs to apply firm pressure, not prop up industries that are increasingly leading us into real problems with climate. That is the whole point of the legislation. There is no point trying to make everyone happy on this. Legislation that is too even handed and balanced will not reduce carbon emssions. You have to tip the scales so that fossil fuel industries phase out.



    I'd like to declare how staggered I am by the ineptitude of creating a scheme which will (in its current form) actually have a detrimental impact on community actions to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions.

    Why the Federal Government hasn't already made changes to the proposed system is beyond me! Why do Ministers not use common sense?



    Please fix the broken CPRS before it becomes law. It is beyond stupidity to think the Australian people will accept a situation whereby anything they do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not achieve any additional greenhouse savings but, rather, will merely result in subsidies for the big polluters.



    We currently subscribe to green energy through our electricity provider, and we have included solar cells and a solar hot water system in our 2009 renovation plans. This is because we want to do our bit for the planet. Please don't allow others to pollute more just because we choose to pollute less. It reduces an individual's power to make meaningful change, and that is just plain unethical.



    Very disheartening to know my efforts just allow big polluters to pollute more... Strengthens the hands of the cynics in households and workplaces who think there's no point doing anything because the planet is stuffed anyway.



    With green power I want to buy and invest into energy produced by wind, water & sun. To think that my contribution actually supports high emmission industries is revolting.



    I thought this Government would get it right.....It won't stop me from making an effort to be more environmentally responsible, but it will make me think twice about who I vote for next time!



    When is the government going to start listening to people and scientists? Real, urgent action on climate change is what Australians need and want.



    Let's do this right way, the correct way for all people and beings; we share this planet... for all time, for everyone! 


    I would rather not claim a rebate than subsidise big businesses to continue polluting. Promote solar power. Make it cheap. Put it in every roof. It will create jobs and put Australia ahead of the competition. It will happen sooner or later and we will be behind the game. Get real Mr Rudd!



    Why is it that consumers need to shoulder the burden of carbon emissions and not those directly respnsible for them ie power generation and big business. Please don't make this another issue of the tail wagging the dog.



    The target set is much too low and should not effectively be reduced by ignoring voluntary actions of consumers.



    I want my solar panels to count, not be flooded by a slack energy industry.



    How incompetent. This plan should be amended immediately!



    I want to know that the solar panels I've installed on my roof will really make a difference, and not help big business to get off the environmental hook.



    It would be far simpler to convert our coal fired power stations to solar thermal power stations with energy storage than running the flawed carbon trading scheme. If we phase out coal fired power stations we would reduce emissions by ~ 50%


    I subscribe to 100% green power both at home and in my small business...I also voted Labor in the hopes that they would do something significant to help curb global warming. The CPRS is a grave disappointment and negation of my personal concerns and those of all other Australians who are doing their bit and expect the government they helped elect to also do it's bit.