A March 2 open letter to minister for climate change Penny Wong has described the federal government's climate policy as "completely out of step with both current climate science and targets in other developed countries". The open letter was endorsed by 65 climate action groups (CAGs).
"The protection of the ecological and climatic systems that support life on earth is essential", the letter states. "We believe that every emissions reduction tool and government expenditure package being considered in Australia should be underpinned by the need to return our planet to a safe climate zone."
The letter notes that the government's "deeply flawed" Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) "will lock in our low target range of 5-15% until 2020" and will serve to undermine attempts to secure a strong international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen conference in late 2009.
More than 150 CAGs voted to act to prevent the CPRS from becoming law at the Climate Action Summit in late January.
The letter called on the Rudd government to implement "swift, strategic action to dramatically reduce emissions", with the overall goal of stabilising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 at 300 parts per million.