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Friday, August 7, 2009

The Development of the CPRS - Part One: Interest Groups

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Interest groups are bodies that seek to influence government policy to be in line with their own views, beliefs or interests. There are many interest groups involved in the Carbon pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) from all areas of industry and lifestyle. The Executive Director of the ‘green group’ Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Don Henry, warned the Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy that the extreme summer experienced in 2008/9 was only a “foretaste” of what is to come if climate action is not taken soon. Mr. Henry also mentioned that “more than 50,000 jobs in the tourism and recreation sectors” are at risk if action is not taken( This appeal was in the interests of protecting jobs that would be lost if the targets in the CPRS are not made greater.

On the other side of the argument is the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). The MCA said in a September 2008 media release that a 10% cut in emissions on 2000 levels by 2020 (with the maximum cut in the CPRS white paper at the time being 15% if other nations agree( would “be extremely difficult to achieve given that it represents a 30% reduction on a “business as usual basis”. This amounts to a reduction in the order of 210 million tonnes by 2020 which is equivalent to the current emissions from Australia’s entire electricity generation sector.” ( This statement portrays to the government that productivity will be crippled by greater targets and goes on to say that the targets suggested are only realistic if major technological advancements are affordably made.

Both of these interest groups attempt to protect their areas of society from any areas they see as a danger in the CPRS.

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