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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Insulation scheme won't reduce emissions: Australia Institute


The Australia Institute policy research centre says the Government's
initiative to fund insulation for more than 2 million homes will not
reduce Australia's carbon emissions.

The Government says the scheme will help households save energy and
cut carbon emissions by up to 49 million tonnes by 2020.

But the Australia Institute's executive director Richard Denniss says
the Government's carbon pollution reduction scheme will just
reallocate those emissions.

"The way the Emissions Trading Scheme is designed, every kilogram of
emissions saved by a household frees up an extra permit for a big
polluter," he said.

"So while it's true this scheme will help reduce households' use of
energy, it won't reduce Australia's emissions at all.

"What they do is take those permits freed up by what the individuals
have done and sell those permits to the aluminium industry or the
steel industry or anyone else who wants them.

"So effectively the carbon pollution reduction scheme is really just a
carbon pollution reallocation scheme."

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says that is a misleading argument.

"What energy efficiency measures do is enable the Government to set
lower and more ambitious targets in years to come, what they do is
ensure is that Australian households can contribute to meeting these
ambitious targets," she said.

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt says the Government needs
to prove the scheme will help the environment.

"The Government has to come clean today, if it turns out all the
Government is doing is shifting emissions from one source to another,
then there are real questions about the integrity of the Government's
insulation package," he said.




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