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Govt presses ahead with ETS plans

Despite climate change talks in Copenhagen being branded a ‘failure’, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has vowed to press ahead with the Government’s emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Senator Wong said Australia must take action to build on the outcome of the climate summit and will press ahead with plans to reintroduce the ETS legislation in February.

“Following Copenhagen it is now important for countries to move forwards, not backwards,” she said. “The reasons for Australia to act remain the same. We are a hot and dry nation and we will and are being hit hard and fast by climate change.”

She went on to blast ETS sceptic and Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, claiming that he needs to stop “sitting on the sidelines and simply barracking for failure.”

Earlier, Abbott said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd must give his explanation for the Copenhagen outcome.

“It’s up to Mr Rudd to explain himself. He’s got to come out of hiding in Kirribilli House,” he said.

Wong said the Government’s next step will be to decide by February its 2020 emissions reduction target.