29 Jun 2015

Business, unions join climate change alliance

2:53 pm on 29 June 2015

Big business, social welfare groups and unions in Australia have joined forces with environmentalists to lobby for strong climate change policies.

The Australian Climate Roundtable will lobby for well-designed climate change policies.

The Australian Climate Roundtable will lobby for well-designed climate change policies. Photo: 123RF

The unprecedented alliance - which includes the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Climate Institute - believes the nation must do its fair share to slash carbon emissions.

They have come together to form the Australian Climate Roundtable to lobby for well-designed climate policies that limit climate change and manage the economic challenges of reducing pollution.

In an editorial published in The Australian on Monday, the group pushes for a cost-efficient policy that deeply cuts emissions.

The competitiveness of Australia's trade-exposed industries, like aluminium, should not be affected unnecessarily, the group says, and costs of climate policies should be spread evenly across the community.

The alliance also believes climate policies cannot be effective without longevity.

"Delayed, unpredictable and piecemeal action will increase the costs and challenges of achieving the goals and maximising the opportunities," the group writes.

"Despite our different constituencies and missions, we have found considerable common ground on these issues."

The roundtable believes the climate has been a "tumultuous" area of policy and is calling for a reset of the objectives and key priorities.

It comes as the government prepares to release Australia's post-2020 emissions reduction targets next month, ahead of the United Nations climate conference in Paris later this year.

The international community has agreed to work together to limit global warming to 2C.

"That immense challenge will require deep and global reductions in carbon emissions and Australia will need to play its fair share," the group said.

Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said the alliance's statement was a shared recognition that avoiding 2°C of warming was in Australia's economic, social and environmental interest.

The alliance also includes the Australian Aluminium Council, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Australian Council of Social Service, Energy Supply Association of Australia, Investor Group on Climate Change and the World Wildlife Fund Australia.


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