Nation building must reduce emissions and be greenhouse friendly

The evidence is clear that an emissions trading scheme will not wreck the economy but will create long-term good for the economy and the environment, according to the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the business chamber for the sustainable energy industry in Western Australia.

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out." (P. J. Hartigan)



Emissions trading system must be delivered on time in 2010
Federal Government must provide incentives to reduce energy use
Federal Government must eliminate taxes imposed on increasing energy efficiency
Renewable energy commitments will deliver new projects and new jobs and diversify energy supply in the clean energy sector

The evidence is clear that a national emissions trading scheme will not wreck the economy but will create long-term good for the economy and the environment, according to the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the business chamber for the sustainable energy industry in WA.

"Claims by some industry sectors that an emissions trading scheme (ETS) would be devastating for Australia's economy simply do not add up," says Dr Ray Wills, Chief Executive of WA SEA.

"The irony continues, as the naysayers of past years were claiming action on climate change and would bring down the economy, when in fact unsustainable practices in the global banking industry have in reality created a bigger financial impact than anything ever forecast for putting a cost on carbon," says Dr Wills.

Many responsible WA businesses have been preparing to make the changes to a lower carbon economy for some time and are well on the road to finding the cuts required.

"Despite the criticism of those with a commercial interest in protecting their ability to emit carbon, and those with a political interest to stall an emissions trading scheme, it is clear Australia has both the capacity to respond, and the capital to invest in a strong response that will grow a more sustainable economy," says Dr Wills.

Meanwhile President Obama has outlined that the United States will embark on an emissions trading scheme with targets of 14% reduction by 2020 and 80% reduction by 2050 (compared with Australia's targets of 5% and 50%).

In Western Australia, any businesses have done their own analysis of the impacts of the ETS and rising carbon costs on their operations, and have found that cutting emissions by the called-for 10% by 2020 are not only achievable, but in many cases will actually contribute to improved efficiency and profitability.

Many WA businesses are concerned about the threat that climate change poses to society, and as good corporate citizens, want to be part of the solution.

Many members of the WA business community, and many businesses that are members of business chambers of commerce and industry support early and comprehensive action to mitigate climate change.

Those businesses understand that the risks from unmitigated climate change are significant, and are expected to have significant negative impacts on the Australian and global economies, as shown in the studies by Stern in 2006 reiterated by Garnaut in 2008.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the IPCC - report that 11 of the last 12 years were among the warmest for global surface temperature in recorded history. Lead scientists now say the impacts of climate change reported in the 2007 IPCC document are 'very conservative". The comments emerged as the U.N.-backed International Polar Year program concluded that icecaps at both the North and South Poles are melting at unprecedented rate. The report, compiled by scientists from more than 60 countries, also says that the shrinking of ice caps is fuelling a rise in sea levels and the potential for dramatic changes in the global climate system.

The majority of businesses understand that if the State and the nation delay taking action, the costs to the Australian economy and WA businesses will be greater, than if we act now. The planned ETS is a good first step in achieving the necessary reductions.

A Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will not tax the Australian economy but will provide the economic incentives to create change and ensure the period of the downturn becomes an opportunity to build an economy that is more sustainable for businesses and the community.

"Many traditional economic commentators are focussed on the word crisis, and are missing the immediately available opportunity that is available to Australian markets - Australia is the Middle East of renewable energy and we are failing to harvest the energy bonanza for the benefit of the Australian economy and that will ultimately prove to be to the advantage of Australia's export industries," says Dr Wills.

"The Australian Industry Group response has now been the same in both boom times and crisis - that action on carbon will impact on jobs, on growth and the inflation outlook for the Australian economy, and that we'' all be "rooned"."

"Those calling for a response to climate change are not looking to ruin the economy but to offer a road to recovery. There will be an impact, but this will be positive a combination of an emissions trading system, paired with direct incentives for industry and the community to reduce emissions through both energy efficiency and procurement of lower emissions energy, will actually diversify the economy and create a more robust environment for business and a more sustainable economy," says Dr Wills.


WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release - 1 March 2009

Media Contact:
Dr Ray Wills 0430 365 607

Editors notes:
1. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of businesses variously promoting, developing and/or adopting sustainable energy technologies and services that minimise the use of energy through sustainable energy practices and maximise the use of energy from sustainable sources. WA SEA is supported by a growing membership of 195 industry members from a diversity of businesses including many of the key energy players in Western Australia www.wasea.com.au.
2. Climate change update news reports: http://news.google.com.au/news?ned=au&ncl=dAxU7vg5XVcZjuMyScb6tOhT-hOBM
3. News report on Emissions Trading Targets announced by the United States http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25107836-26397,00.html
4. Dr Ray Wills has had a wide-ranging career at different times as researcher, planner, adviser, manager and academic and has substantial expertise and experience across diverse fields including resources and energy, sustainability, and climate change science. Ray is recognised by business, government and community leaders in WA as an authoritative commentator on sustainability and policy and functional responses to mitigate and adapt to global warming. Ray is CEO of the WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WASEA), the peak body for the sustainable energy industry in Western Australia, the Principal of Future Smart Strategies, an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences at the University of Western Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy.


Monsignore P J Hartigan (John O'Brien) - Australian Bush Poetry

Said Hanrahan
Monsignore PJ Hartigan by John O'Brien

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan in accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began one frosty Sunday morn.
The congregation stood about coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought as it had done for years.
"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke; "Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil, with which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel and chewed a piece of bark.
And so around the chorus ran, "It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."
"The crops are done; ye'll have your work to save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke they're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said, "And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head, and gazed around the sky.
"There won't be grass, in any case, enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place as I came down to Mass."
"If rain don't come this month," said Dan, and cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal on all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel, and chewed a piece of bark.
"We want an inch of rain, we do, "O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two, to put the danger past.
"If we don't get three inches, man, or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain; and all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane it drummed a homely tune.
And through the night it pattered still, and lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill kept talking to themselves.
It pelted, pelted all day long, a-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran, and dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "If this rain doesn't stop."
And stop it did, in God's good time; and spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime of green and pink and gold.
And days went by on dancing feet, with harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face, as happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place went riding down to Mass.
While round the church in clothes genteel discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel, and chewed his piece of bark.
"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man, there will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan, "Before the year is out."

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