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    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Garnaut puts a high price on climate change inaction

    Premier
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Friday, July 04, 2008

    Garnaut puts a high price on climate change inaction

    Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today welcomed the Garnaut Review Draft Report as a line in the sand on the debate about how quickly Australia should respond to the climate change threat.

    “For the first time ever, detailed research has found that there is a real and very high cost in doing nothing,” the Premier said.

    “The report also finds that Queensland will be hit hard by climate change if we do not all take immediate action.

    “Professor Garnaut finds that left unchecked global emissions will mean a cut in Australians’ wages of nearly 8 % and a decline in spending by 5.4% by 2100.

    “In today’s terms that would mean the average Queenslander on $833 a week would be suffering a wage cut of around $65.

    “Queenslanders know we will bear the brunt of some of the worst impacts of climate change and the Draft Report confirms this, finding there will be longer more frequent drought, destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, extinction of our unique rainforest fauna, and powerful cyclones hitting the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

    “Professor Garnaut’s draft report gives us a plan to make the changes we must – through the introduction of a national Emissions Trading Scheme.

    “There is no question any Emissions Trading Scheme will have a significant impact on Queensland’s economy due to our heavy reliance on the resources and animal husbandry sectors and the vast distances that increase transport costs.

    “He has recommended that support be given to industries like cattle and sheep production and iron and steel manufacturing. This financial support will be vital to help protect Queensland jobs and allow those industries time to adjust.

    “I welcome his emphasis on tax breaks and changes in social security to help low income families and his recognition of the disadvantage to Queensland families who live in rural and regional communities where increased transport costs will put a big hole in household budgets.

    “Importantly Professor Garnaut also recommends that 20% of revenue generated by the new Emissions Trading Scheme be used to fund research and development.

    “Queensland is leading the nation in this area with the $1.4 Billion Climate Smart 2050 plan strategy.

    “Significant work is already being done here on carbon capture and storage through projects like Zerogen and Oxyfuel. These projects will help ensure a viable future for our coal industry.

    “Professor Garnaut’s draft report sets us all a difficult task.

    “We will be working closely with the Australian Government as it finalises its Green Paper and prepares for the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),” she said.

    People wanting more information on how they can cut their household emissions or on the Queensland Government’s response to climate change can log onto www.climatesmart.qld.gov.au

    Friday July 4, 2008

    For more information: Premier’s Office – 3224 4500