Step-In to Step it Up on Climate Change

Community action to switch off the CPRS and switch on renewables in 2009

Climate Action Canberra ‘Save Earth Hour’ Rally March 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollycreenaune @ 9:35 am

Save Earth Hour: Switch off the CPRS, and switch on real climate solutions

What: Rally against the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, with music and street theatre

Who: Climate Action Canberra, Richard Denniss and others

Where: Department of Climate Change, Corner of London Circuit and Constitution Avenue

When: 8am Friday 27 March

Climate Action Canberra will rally outside the Department of Climate Change tomorrow morning with “Penny and the Polluters” fiddling while the Earth burns. This is part of a national day of action against the federal government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

“We need an emergency response to the dire climate change situation. The latest science tells us we have ten years to make a transition to a low Carbon economy” said Cindy Eiritz, a mother and member of Climate Action Canberra.

“The current CPRS framework locks in ten years of continued polluting by the big end of town, gives them $6 billion in handouts and in the end only cuts emissions by a measly 5-15%.” She said.

A rapid transition requires a high Carbon price. The ‘cap’ on the price of Carbon at $30 a tonne will make it difficult to stimulate the growth of low Carbon technologies in Australia, when fossil fuels enjoy the benefit of still being the default option for electricity supply.

The cap on the price of Carbon has other perverse consequences, including disenfranchising the efforts of ordinary people to reduce emissions: under the CPRS, efficiency measures like Earth Hour, or the purchase of green power will simply lower the Carbon price.

Dr Peter Wood, an applied mathematician at ANU, has recommended a reform called a ‘price floor’ to moderate the worst effects of a ‘price cap’. He sees this reform as a compromise measure between a Carbon tax and a trading scheme.

Wood is concerned also about the 15% maximum reduction target jeopardising the possibility of a strong international agreement in December in Copenhagen. “This target shirks Australia’s international obligations and will make us again a pariah nation at the UN summit again” He added “Such low targets will actually decrease the likelihood of international agreement”.

Leigh Hughes, co-convenor of Climate Action Canberra, calls on all Canberrans to join in the growing movement for a just and scientifically credible solution to Climate Change. “We need to make our voices heard. The possibility of a safe climate future is within reach, but the CPRS is absolutely not good enough” he said.

Contact Cindy Eiritz: 0408 266 744

Dr Peter Wood: 0405 545 904

Leigh Hughes: 0421 283 825

Climate Action Canberra is a community-based, non partisan climate action group, connecting the latest science to a emergency policy and community response, in the leadup to the UN conference in Copenhagen December 2009. Acting as an information hub and an entry point, it facilitates peoples’ productive engagement in climate change issues in the ACT.

And a reportback from Climate Action Canberra member:

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your work in making this morning’s rally a success. A number of people at my work saw us, and one of them who was on a passing bus said that it started a discussion involving all the passengers! The ABC has done a radio interview; and currently sitting on the front desk of the Department of Climate Change is our own ‘Letter to Staff’ outlining the reasons for our protest. The music by ‘Penny and the polluters’ and the speakers were fantastic, as were the banners and Clayton’s ‘greenhouse mafia’ act. I also think I spotted a certain Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly in the crowd! All in all, I think we should be quite happy with ourselves, being able to hold a quite lively rally on an issue as specific as the CPRS, at 8am on a somewhat dismal Canberra morning.

I also just wanted to pass on a text message I received after the rally from a participant. It read: “Thankyou! That was the most meaningful protest I have been to in ages!”.

So congratulations all – but of course, there is still a very long way to go and many other successes we will need before we can put on our victory hats (if there were such things as victory hats)!

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