Multi-Party Climate Change Committee Communique
THU 07 OCTOBER 2010
The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee held its first meeting in Canberra today. The Prime Minister, and the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency were joined by the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, Senator Christine Milne and the Member for New England, Mr Tony Windsor. The Committee was assisted by the Member for Melbourne, Mr Adam Bandt and the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mr Mark Dreyfus.
The Deputy Prime Minister was unable to attend due to his attendance overseas at meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
The Member for Lyne, Mr Rob Oakeshott, has also indicated his willingness to be a Member of the Committee but was unable to make this meeting for personal reasons.
The Committee members formally affirmed the Terms of Reference, and reiterated their commitment to work co-operatively across party lines in considering all the options for a price on carbon.
The Committee affirmed the intention to advise agreement on an option for a carbon price, but noted that where differences remain after good faith discussions, it would make every effort to produce workable options for Cabinet consideration.
The Committee also welcomed the appointments of Professor Ross Garnaut, Professor Will Steffen, Mr Rod Sims, and Ms Patricia Faulkner as expert advisors to the Committee. All four experts attended this meeting.
The Committee also agreed on operating procedures for Committee meetings, and resolved to meet monthly until the end of 2011.
The Committee also agreed that it will release a communiqué after each meeting, as part of its role in participating in building public consensus for action on climate change and public understanding of the issues surrounding carbon pricing.
From time to time, it will also release information papers that were provided to Committee members, as a means of informing the public and encouraging public debate. A website will also be established containing public information about the Committee and its work.
The Committee concluded that the Citizens Assembly should not be implemented in its proposed form. Given the formation of this Committee, and the changed political environment following the election, the Committee believes that the objective of the Citizens Assembly to build consensus will be better achieved in other ways.
In this regard, the Committee discussed processes and measures for public engagement on climate change science, climate change action, and forums for public dialogue.
It is anticipated that the proposed Climate Change Commission will play a role in public forums in different locations across Australia to promote greater understanding of the challenges of climate change.
The Committee was also updated on the Government's proposal for an expert body to investigate international carbon prices in key economies and for Professor Ross Garnaut to update his Climate Change Review. These were commitments given to the Member for New England by the Prime Minister.
Below is the current membership list for the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee.
Membership list for the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee
The Hon. Julia Gillard MP Prime Minister, Chair
The Hon. Wayne Swan MP Deputy Prime Minister
The Hon. Greg Combet MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Co-Deputy Chair
Senator Bob Brown Leader, Australian Greens (Tasmania)
Senator Christine Milne Deputy Leader, Australian Greens (Tasmania), Co-Deputy Chair
Mr Tony Windsor MP Independent (Member for New England)
Mr Rob Oakeshott MP Independent (Member for Lyne)