City Supports a Price on Carbon

On Monday night, the Council endorsed my call to support the Federal Government's plan to put a price on carbon - and we agreed to host a community forum.

The forum will explain carbon pricing and its impacts on households and businesses, giving our inner city communities the information they need to make informed decisions on the Federal Government's proposals.

The previous Monday, 18 July, I attended a breakfast forum where the Prime Minister clearly outlined her vision for the future of Australia. Her message was powerful and the policy and rationale for the Government's Climate Change Plan, as presented, is both robust and strong.

We know businesses and residents here in the City want action to address climate change. This is clearly demonstrated by the high level of participation of large and small businesses and our residents in our many sustainable programs.

While the Government's announcement to put a price on carbon has necessarily been scrutinised, some of the debate has been overtaken by misleading comments and hysteria. It is clear vested interests, scaremongering, political ambition and outright miscommunication have clouded the debate.

We need to keep in mind why a price on carbon is important - why acting on climate change is critical.

The Climate Commission's review of the science recently concluded climate change is real, it's occurring at a rapid rate, and that two degrees is the maximum temperature change before our planet risks tipping into catastrophic climate change.

Decisions we make this decade - 'the critical decade' - will determine the severity of climate change that our children and grandchildren experience.

The carbon pricing scheme will make the City's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and shift to renewable energy sources easier. It will give the City greater certainty about future energy prices, and lets us assess our strategies and projects accordingly.

The economics of reducing energy demand by the City's $12M renewable energy rollout, LED lighting, and energy and water efficiency programs will also be improved with a carbon price.

The City's range of sustainability programs has already helped businesses and residents to reduce energy consumption and therefore the cost of their energy bills. These programs will now also help reduce costs associated with carbon pricing.

Cities are responsible for up to three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions, so cities are also our best opportunity for cutting emissions.

Given the City is recognised for its leading action on climate change and that the proposal to put a price on carbon complements work we are already doing and plan to do, I believe it is imperative that we work in partnership with the Federal Government to provide clear and accurate information to the Sydney community.

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