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Worst polluters ‘off the hook’ under Howard

By Adele O’Hare

Posted 38 minutes ago
Updated 32 minutes ago

Dr Pearse says the Government should do more to encourage the biggest polluting companies to cut their emissions (File photo).

Dr Pearse says the Government should do more to encourage the biggest polluting companies to cut their emissions (File photo). (Getty Images: Ian Waldie)

Prime Minister John Howard’s plan for an emissions trading scheme is letting Australia’s worst polluting industries get off the hook, the author of a damning book argues.

Guy Pearse is a Liberal Party member and former adviser to the Howard Government who has documented the role of the self-described ‘greenhouse mafia’ – the lobbyists for the worst polluting industries – in helping to write government policy on climate change.

In his new book, High and Dry: John Howard, climate change and the selling of Australia’s future, Dr Pearse says lobbyists from these industries have admitted to him on tape that they have been running Australia’s greenhouse policy remotely for many years.

On Tuesday Mr Howard announced plans for a national carbon trading scheme to be up and running by 2012, but has not set a target for cuts in emissions.

Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended the policy, saying Australia already has a target – the Kyoto target of 108 per cent of 1990 levels, which it is on track to meet.

“What we are talking about now is a set of policies, including an emissions trading scheme, which is designed to take us beyond the Kyoto period… past 2012 and into the decades to come,” he said.

Big polluters

The new plan does not put a price on carbon or set (…more here)

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