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Rudd stands firm on emissions target calls

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Prime Minister Rudd is continuing to resist increasingly loud calls for Australia to commit to emission cut targets of up to 40% by 2020.

Rudd told reporters at the UN Conference on Climate Change currently taking place in Bali that he will not commit to any target until after he has received a report the Government has commissioned on the matter by economist Ross Garnaut.

“We will then be in a position to frame our own targets,” Rudd says. “Our own long term target is an ambitious one of 60% reduction in emissions by 2050.”

Garnaut has yet to foreshadow any possible findings of his investigation, but yesterday he did signal his approach to Australia’s coal industry, saying that its future was inextricably linked to proving the viability of clean coal technologies.

Garnaut reportedly told a Brisbane conference that without viable and cost-effective carbon capture and geo-sequestration technologies, we will reach the point where no new coal-fired power stations can be built.

And the thing that is likely to do most to speed the development of those technologies – a comprehensive carbon trading scheme – is also the single measure businesses are most keen to see, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

Over 80% of respondents to the international survey of business said a market for trading emissions permits would be an effective tool for fighting climate change, while 60% said they expected companies that participated in such schemes to lead global economic growth in the future.

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