Australian Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has stated that converting existing energy supplies to clean and renewable sources will inevitably cost households up to 40 percent more on their power bill. He is concerned that few consumers are aware of the spikes in their power bills that will occur over the next ten years due to the cost of green technologies and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. A large part of this electricity cost increase will be due to coal-fired powered stations output jumping from AUD$35 / US$27 a megawatt-hour to more than AUD$60 / US$46 as gas emissions are cut.

Prime Minister John Howard, like President George W. Bush, has refused to ratify the Kyoto agreement for cutting greenhouse emissions, claiming that it would place too great a cost on the Australian economy. Despite this, Prime Minister Howard has stated that Australia is one of the few OECD countries currently on track to either meet, or go very close to meeting, its Kyoto target. He has also pledged to sign up to any international carbon-trading scheme and will consider any post-Kyoto pact. Global warming and the environment are expected to be important issues for voters in the 2007 Australian federal elections.

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[Source: Clinton Porteous / Courier Mail]

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