The Public Interest Advocacy Centre looks forward to the release of the Federal Government’s Green Paper on Climate Change tomorrow, but warns that any proposals must not adversely affect low-income and vulnerable households.
The Green Paper will outline the design of a national emissions trading scheme, including a compensation plan for households and businesses.
Senior Policy Officer at PIAC, Mark Ludbrooke said, ‘An emissions trading scheme is designed to reduce harmful carbon gases by increasing the cost of electricity and other heavily polluting goods and services. If not designed properly, we could see many low-income households with rising energy bills struggle to make ends meet. Protection for these consumers must be at the heart of the emissions trading scheme’.
PIAC believes that any compensation plan should include energy efficiency programs such as energy audits, subsidies for low energy appliances and installation of ceiling insulation and gas or solar hot water systems. These measures are the most effective way to assist low-income consumers to reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills.
‘The Green Paper must also illustrate the Government’s commitment to improve the energy efficiency of public housing stock and give private landlords incentives to increase the energy efficiency of their properties,’ Mr Ludbrooke added.
PIAC believes it is also essential that government provides direct financial relief for low-income earners as the introduction of an emissions trading scheme will increase many aspects of the cost of living.
‘It is imperative that consumers receive support with income and energy efficiency before the emissions trading scheme kicks in. If we wait too long consumers will be left short when prices start to rise’.
For more information contact Mark Ludbrooke, Senior Policy Officer, Energy & Water
02 8898 6518 or 0433 331158
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169