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GPC report welcome, but needs re-focus

17 October 2005 Media Statement

GPC report welcome, but needs re-focus

The Greenhouse Policy Coalition's report is a welcome contribution to the debate on climate change policy, but it focussed a little too much on what shouldn't happen rather that on what should.

"In calling for action to be taken, albeit later rather than sooner, the Group is admitting that climate change is real and that something needs to be done about it," said Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson.

"Many individual corporate members of the Group are already taking positive steps to adopt many of the emissions savings technologies that are available right now in order to make their business more competitive and productive. By contrast the report is inclined to the view we should simply await new technologies and then make a start."

Some of the report's ideas, such as tax credits to promote renewables and biofuel deserve close attention. That said, the government already allocates carbon credits for some renewables and a policy for zero fuel excise tax on biofuel is already in place.

"I question the report's assertion that price has no effect on demand. For instance, the report argues demand for big cars will continue to grow and that high oil prices do nothing to reduce demand. But year on year sales to September of large SUVs in the US are down 43 per cent while sales of the Toyota Prius hybrid are up 90 per cent."


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