Blueprint for green

On the eve of the government’s climate change legislation, Four Corners looks at the relentless lobbying campaign by environmentalists and industry.

climate-changeEveryone’s talking climate change lately.

On the eve of the government’s release of its controversial climate change legislation, Four Corners reporter Liz Jackson investigates the relentless lobbying campaign conducted by environmentalists and industry over the past 12 months.

The ABC show talks to environmentalists and industry and charts their influence on the government as it prepared its blueprint for an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

On Tuesday 10 March, the government will be introducing its legislation for the ETS. At the same time the Senate is set to begin an inquiry that could determine the future of the scheme. Emissions trading has become a major subject of political debate in Canberra. As the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis grows, Four Corners reports on a lobbying campaign that still has some way to run. As Mitch Hooke from the Minerals Council told the program: “This is not over. We have a whole new perspective now and that is the economic capacity of our firms to adjust.”

Mitch Hooke from the Minerals Council tells Four Corners that adopting the government’s plan “will encourage investment offshore to countries where they don’t have the disciplines that we’re trying to invoke here in Australia… so the big risk is that we suffer massive costs to jobs and economic activity here in Australia.”

Professor Ross Garnaut reveals his concerns about the influence wielded by key interest groups: “Let me say right away that vested interests seeking to influence the process is not illegitimate in our democracy but can lead to poor policy outcomes.”

Four Corners airs on Monday at 8.30pm on ABC1.

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