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Transport must pay in carbon trading, Greens push

Greens renew push to include transport emissions in Government's carbon trading scheme

October 12, 2009

As the Federal Government begins negotiations with the Opposition on its carbon reduction scheme, the Greens are renewing a push to include transport emissions in any trading framework.

The Greens will present its amendments to the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) today, which Deputy Leader Christine Milne says will “ensure that transport is covered by the scheme”.

The party says the amendments provide the basis for an agreement that the Senate could support and would have a “meaningful” impact on the climate.

“These comprehensive amendments would turn a scheme that locks in failure into an effective and efficient scheme that would pay a key role in addressing the climate crisis,” Milne says.

“These sensible amendments are supported by the best scientific and economic advice…and the Government would do well to support them.”

Milne says the new amendments which also call for the removal of market “distortions” such as the price cap and the ban on permit export, and will protect not destroy jobs throughout the country.

“The Government and Opposition’s proposals will not protect a single job – all they do is bolster corporate profits. The Greens amendments will protect and create jobs,” she says.

“If Mr Rudd and Senator Wong are serious about getting an emissions trading scheme in place, they should be talking to all members of the Senate, particularly those who are serious about meaningful action on climate change.”

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is supporting the Government legislation, arguing it will bring certainty to environmental requirements for business.

“The alternative to emissions trading is more regulation in the form of stringent engine requirements or attempts to force our customers to transport their freight by rail or sea, even if those transport modes do not meet their business requirements,” a spokesman for the ATA has said.

If emissions trading is delayed, the spokesman says it is more likely the industry will be hit with complex and onerous regulations which will reduce operators’ efficiency.

“The only effect of the scheme on most trucking companies will be to increase the price of diesel after July 2011, because the industry will receive a special credit during the first year of the scheme,” the spokesman says.

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