Consumers Robbed Of Green Power

A campaign to include consumer action in the federal government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was launched by a coalition of environment, consumer and energy groups today.

A coalition of environment, consumer and energy groups today voiced serious concern about the design of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), which does not recognise the voluntary actions made by Australians to reduce carbon emissions, such as buying GreenPower or installing solar hot water systems.

The Total Environment Centre, CHOICE, WWF Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Alternative Technology Association, the Moreland Energy Foundation and Environment Victoria is calling on the federal government to amend the CPRS so that the voluntary actions of households, businesses and state and local government count above and beyond the federal government’s mandatory targets for big polluters.

“The CPRS will be an important part of Australia’s response to climate change, providing a clear price signal that will drive a shift to a clean economy,” said Paul Toni, leader of WWF Australia’s Climate Change program. “But those who take voluntary action – no matter who they are – must be confident that their action will have a direct – and additional – benefit to the environment.”

Director of Campaigns and Policy at CHOICE Gordon Renouf said “the current CPRS legislation excludes the majority of consumers from making a meaningful contribution.”

“This legislation has the potential to disempower consumers from taking action on climate change and reduces their engagement with the issue," said Renouf.

Executive Director of the Total Environment Centre, Jeff Angel, called for the government’s negotiations to focus on ensuring verifiable voluntary action taken by Australians do not simply subsidise the big polluters to continue polluting.

“Australians want to play their part in reducing their carbon emissions,” Angel said.

Ian Porter, CEO of the Alternative Technology Association drew attention to the need to engage all Australians in the national response to climate change.

"The recognition of voluntary action by individuals, households, businesses and state and local governments under the CPRS will build upon significant momentum and send a strong message that the government is looking to engage all Australians in the climate change challenge," he said.

This coalition of groups has launched a campaign to convince the federal government to make all voluntary actions additional to the mandatory requirements of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

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