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Uniting Church wants a price on carbon

National Director of UnitingJustice Australia Rev Elenie Poulos
The Uniting Church today reaffirmed its support for the Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). It will be making a submission to the Inquiry announced yesterday by the House of Representatives Economics Committee encouraging a strengthened scheme.

The National Director of UnitingJustice Australia Rev Elenie Poulos said that while the scheme is far from perfect, it is vital that a price be placed on carbon.

“The Uniting Church regards human-induced climate change as a most serious threat to the future and integrity of life on earth.

“We believe that pricing carbon is absolutely essential for addressing climate change. The introduction of the CPRS is an important strategy for reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“The CPRS is far from perfect and should be only one of numerous measures we develop to address the damaging impact of climate change.

“We would prefer the scheme to deliver much stronger emissions reduction targets, more support for research, development and commercialisation of clean, renewable and low-emission technologies, less support for the coal industry, and additional measures to assist low-income and disadvantaged households.

“However, we believe the scheme is a vital plank in enabling Australia to shift to a low-carbon economy,” said Ms Poulos.

“We are extremely concerned that resistance to the CPRS is based on a limited and short-term approach to the country’s future wellbeing.

“It is entirely self-evident that the health of our economy is dependent on the health of the planet. We must shift as quickly as we can to a sustainable and vibrant low-carbon economy.

“Australia is well placed to show the world what is possible.”

Ms Poulos said the global financial crisis is not an excuse not to proceed.

“It is in fact another major demonstration of the failure of the current global economic system to sustain life and prosperity on earth.

“The Federal Government and the Opposition should be even more committed to supporting a strong emissions trading scheme.

“It will be one step towards an economic system that puts the needs of people and the planet before profit and a demonstration to the global community that one of the world’s biggest per capita emitters is serious about climate change.”

Photo : National Director of UnitingJustice Australia Rev Elenie Poulos