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Gillard introduces initiatives to combat climate change

Prime Minister Julia Gillard introduced a comprehensive plan for tackling climate change and supporting clean energy on 10 July.

The plan, “Securing a clean energy future”, includes putting a price on carbon pollution; promoting innovation and investment in renewable energy; improving energy efficiency; and creating opportunities in the land sector to cut pollution.

Under the plan, she said, “Australia will cut 159 million tons a year of carbon pollution from our atmosphere by 2020.”

The carbon price aims to transform Australia’s electricity generation by encouraging investment in renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar power, and the use of cleaner fuels such as natural gas.

Government measures for supporting innovation in clean and renewable energy include an AU$10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation; an AU$3.2bn Australian Renewable Energy Agency; and an AU$200 million Clean Technology Innovation Program.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s funding will be invested in businesses seeking funds to get innovative clean energy proposals and technologies off the ground.

The Renewable Energy Agency will offer grants for renewable energy technology research and development and for initiatives to bring the technologies to market.

The Clean Technology Innovation Program will provide grants to support business investment in renewable energy, low emissions technology and energy efficiency.