From the TUC

Murdoch on carbon tax offensive – sign the petition!

01 Sep 2011, by in Environment

According to campaigners Avaaz, the Murdoch empire is out to kill the Australian government’s new law that would cut carbon emissions and get polluters to pay. The Australian Confederation of Trade Unions (ACTU) backs the Bill, their President, Ged Kearney, arguing that, “Australian workers deserve an opportunity to sort the fact from the fiction in this debate.” Avaaz wants 250,000 signatures on its e-petition, which will trigger radio ads that lay out the benefits of the law and rouse public support.

Ged Kearney said that as a result of negotiations with the Government, unions had secured commitments to household financial assistance, protection of jobs, and funding for investment in new clean energy industries and jobs.  “That is the reality, and unions’ interest is to ensure the best outcome for Australian workers, so that they can have a  good job with decent pay and conditions.”

The ACTU has consistently supported the ITUC’s efforts to secure a global UN deal on climate change. The carbon pricing law is a win-win measure — it will push clean energy production and generate more resources for working families. If it passes, it will spur other major emitters to follow suit and could be the next best hope for our climate.

But, as Avaaz points out:

“Murdoch’s megaphone of fear is massive — he owns 70% of Australia’s press. If together we can drown out his campaign to crush the bill with messages of hope from across the world, we could help it pass.”

The former Australian owns News Limited, which owns over 3/4 of Australia’s print media, Sky News, much of Foxtel and numerous other media interests in this country. Murdoch is also bidding for control of the $226m overseas Australia Network, currently run by the ABC. 

If we now embolden Australia, with a high CO2 footprint per capita, to set a CO2 pricing scheme, it will generate momentum for other major emitters such as China and the US to follow suit, boosting our chances of a global climate deal in Durban in December.