Transcript of Radio Interview, AM Program, ABC
7 March 2006
Shadow Minister discusses ALP energy policy; energy executive says targets should go further than 2050
TONY EASTLEY: Despite the preselection battles, Labor leader Kim Beazley is determined to get on with business.
And today he’s set to release the party’s energy policy and it’s promising to set Labor apart from the Coalition.
It involves ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, embraces a carbon-emissions trading system, and asks more from new home owners.
Karen Percy reports.
KAREN PERCY: Labor’s plan aims to cut Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 60 per cent, by 2050. Its first step will be for Australia to ratify the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gases.
Labor’s Environment Spokesman, Anthony Albanese.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: We’ll establish a national emissions trading scheme, because we believe that Kyoto brings with it market base mechanisms to encourage the use of new technology.
But we’ll go much further than that, and today we’ll have a number of immediate and innovative practical policy measures designed to get Australia on the road to a carbon-constrained economy.
KAREN PERCY: Like the Government, the Opposition is looking at finding cleaner ways to use fossil fuels, like geosequestration, which buries the emissions from burning coal. It’s also looking to make greater use of technologies that convert gas to liquids. Anthony Albanese.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: What we need if we’re going to avoid dangerous climate change, is to use all forces at our disposal to actually get to that target.
KAREN PERCY: Does that include nuclear?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: No. Labor believes when it comes to nuclear, that there are a range of problems which haven’t been resolved. For a start, it doesn’t stack up economically in Australia, but also the issues of nuclear waste mean that it’s simply not an appropriate system for Australia.
KAREN PERCY: While the Opposition is looking at the big picture, it’s also adopting a grassroots approach as well.
There’ll be incentives for new home buyers to adopt environmentally friendly energies into their homes.
There’ll be changes to building codes to ensure properties are more energy efficient and the party is also set to address transport issues.
When it comes to wind and solar energies, Labor’s promising a big shift from its position at the last election, where it adopted a renewable energy target of five per cent by 2010.
When the policy detail is revealed today, Environment Spokesman Anthony Albanese says Labor will go much further than that and will move significantly beyond present levels.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: At the moment, it’s two per cent. China’s just adopted a 15 per cent target. Most of Europe have at least a 20 per cent target. It really is an appalling situation that we’re so far behind.
KAREN PERCY: The policy launch will be closely watched by the industry, including Susan Jeanes from the Renewable Energy Generators of Australia.
SUSAN JEANES: We’re very keen to see the level of target, but it needs to be very ambitious in order to get to where we need to be.
KAREN PERCY: So would that be 10 per cent, 15 per cent, 20 per cent?
SUSAN JEANES: It’s probably considerably more than that in the longer term. I mean, remember we’re only talking about targets at the moment out to 2010, 2020. I mean, we need to go a lot further than that by 2050.
TONY EASTLEY: Susan Jeanes, Chief Executive Officer from the Renewable Energy Generators of Australia ending Karen Percy’s report.