Climate extremists tell Rudd: don't negotiate the ETS
The Southern Cross Climate Coalition - which includes the Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Institute, World Wildlife Fund, Australian Council of Social Service and ACTU - has written to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warning its support will disappear if the legislation is made ''ineffective or irresponsible'' by amendments.So what will Rudd do now? Negotiate amendments with the Opposition to get the ETS through, but lose the support of the alarmist environmental groups, or cave in to their demands, refuse to make concessions to industry and lose support of the Opposition?
Mr Rudd made much of Labor's alliance with the group when it was announced in May, appearing in a joint press conference with ACF executive director Don Henry and others to spruik his environmental credentials.
But the letter, which was also sent to Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull and cross-bench senators Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding, warns that big polluters should not be offered further concessions.
''It's not effective or responsible to give windfall gains to booming coalminers or to give billions extra to businesses who bought brown coal-fired generators knowing a carbon price was coming,'' the group's spokesman, John Connor, said.
''We've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Malcolm Turnbull to say these industry proposals would make the [carbon pollution reduction scheme] ineffective and unsupportable,'' he said.
Loss of support from the high-profile group would be a significant blow for Labor, leaving it facing widespread hostility from environmental, welfare and union groups, with only parts of the business community onside.
Read it here.