Environment groups boycott talks
National environment groups discussing greenhouse strategy with the federal government pulled out of talks in Canberra on August 6. They said that despite nearly two years of talks, the government had still not spelled out how it would go about promised greenhouse emission reductions.
The boycotting groups were the Australian Conservation Foundation, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Greenpeace. The Wilderness Society had not taken up its invitation.
Greenpeace spokesperson Liz Smith said that government, industry and community groups had already spent nearly two years searching for strategies.
The draft Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Greenhouse Report contained many useful recommendations, but these had been ignored or watered down by the government's Draft National Greenhouse Strategy.
She complained that "faceless bureaucrats" wanted to "spend more time and taxpayers' money going over the same ground again and again".
"The ESD Greenhouse Report's recommendation of energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings to bring Australia into line with other OECD countries is an example of an initiative the government should act on", she said.
"Instead, the Draft National Greenhouse Strategy only suggests that energy standards should wait for more studies 'identifying and taking into account the costs and benefits of the proposed standards'. This is bureaucratic inertia at its worst."