Hot is cold, black is white and Australia has no fossil fuel subsidies

Energy Matters0

Hot is cold, black is white and Australia has no fossil fuel subsidies!

Hobart, Tuesday 29 June 2010

It has been revealed that the Australian Government claimed at the G20
meeting last weekend that Australia has no fossil fuel subsidies that
would fall within the scope of the G20 agreement to phase out such

Former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, committed at the G20 leaders’ meeting
in Pittsburgh last September to prepare implementation plans and
timelines for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. The Australian
government has since worked to redefine fossil fuel subsidies so as to
avoid any commitment to action at home.

“Instead of denying that Australia has any inefficient fossil fuel
subsidies, we should be investing those billions of dollars of wasted
taxpayers’ money in climate solutions that will improve our lives,” said
Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne.

Although Australia has limited subsidies for exploration and production
of fossil fuels, there remain billions of dollars of subsidies each year
for the consumption of fossil fuels, including the fuel tax credit,
fringe benefits tax concession for motor vehicle use and much more.

“Within its first few days, the Gillard government signed a deal to
export brown coal to Vietnam and then helped to undermine what had been
a promising international agreement to phase out subsidies that
encourage the production and use of polluting fossil fuels.

“Who does the Australian government think it is kidding by engaging in a
game of definitions? Take away the fuel tax credit for the miners and
see if they think they have lost a subsidy.

“This is not an auspicious start.

“Australia is not among the world’s worst offenders with fossil fuel
subsidies, but we cannot seriously claim that, just because our
subsidies encourage use rather than production, we have no work to do.

“If instead of paying billions of dollars each year to encourage miners,
loggers and people with company cars to use more fuel, we invested in
alternative fuels, electric cars, public transport and cycleways, we
could make a big dent in our greenhouse pollution at no net cost.

“Prime Minister Gillard should make a break with the past on climate
action and come and talk to the Greens.

“We have plenty of ideas that we are keen to share with her government,
from a carbon tax to an energy efficiency target scheme. Now is the time
to start working together to get real climate action.”

The document that shows Australia’s claim to the G20 can be seen here:

Tim Hollo
Media Adviser
Senator Christine Milne | Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate
Change Spokesperson
Suite SG-112 Parliament House, Canberra ACT | P: 02 6277 3588 | M: 0437
587 562|

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