Greenies and business unite on climate action  

Posted by Big Gav

The SMH reports that some sectors of the Australian business community are demanding action on climate change (not that either of the major parties seems inclined to listen - dumb and dumber) - Greenies and business unite on climate action.

BUSINESSES are planning an unlikely alliance with the Australian Conservation Foundation to prod the nation's leaders into fundamental action on climate change.

The federal government's decision to shelve its carbon emissions trading scheme has jeopardised investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars, driving some companies to plan a climate circuit-breaker.

One plan under review is a revival of the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, which emerged four years ago when the Howard government was baulking at action.

The roundtable was remarkable for teaming an environmental group, the Australian Conservation Foundation, with six big members of the corporate world: Westpac, the re-insurer Swiss Re, Insurance Australia Group, Origin Energy, Visy Industries and BP Australasia.

The group's landmark report of 2006 warned of grave economic harm if Australia did not take early action on global warming - a view that '' took courage'' at the time, one of the founding members recalled this week.

''Between them the chief executives of these companies lobbied all the east coast premiers, the then prime minister, and the opposition leader. A lot of senior-level heavy lifting went on behind the scenes after the launch of our report, and that probably had more effect than the report itself.''

When the Howard government reluctantly moved to adopt an emissions trading scheme, the group faded, thinking its work done.

But the decision to delay the emissions trading scheme raised the prospect of a new alliance.

'' We have got some early feelers out to resuscitate something like the roundtable,'' a key player told the Herald.

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