27 September 2010

Government announces new Climate Change Committee

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced details for a new multi-Party Climate Change Committee which will aim to build consensus on how Australia will tackle climate change.

Importantly, the Committee will examine options for the introduction of a carbon price and will report to Cabinet with a range of policy positions based on discussions with independent experts, the public and industry.

Ms Gillard has advised that the Committee will start from the assumption that a carbon price is an economic reform that is required to reduce carbon pollution. Given the controversial nature of the issue, the Committee will also play a role in establishing community consensus for action on climate change.

The Government will be represented on the Committee by the Prime Minister as Chair, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet MP, who will serve as the Deputy Chair of the Committee.

The Government will also invite two representatives from the Coalition, two from the Australian Greens, and representation from independent Members of Parliament. Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne will serve as co-Deputy Chair, whilst Mr Tony Windsor has also already indicated his willingness to be a member of the Committee.

Parliamentary members of the Committee will be drawn from those who are committed to tackling climate change and who acknowledge that effectively reducing carbon pollution by 2020 will require a carbon price.

Four independent experts— Professor Ross Garnaut, Professor Will Steffen, Mr Rod Sims and Ms Patricia Faulkner—will support the Committee as expert advisers.

“The Government recognises that climate change is a significant challenge for Australia and its economy. We have a choice between paying for our inaction or investing to build a competitive, cleaner energy and more energy efficient economy”, Ms Gillard said.

For more information on the Committee and its terms of reference, please visit http://www.pm.gov.au/node/6923

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