Dec 30, 2005

2005 Australia’s Hottest Ever Year – Government Cold on Action

2005 Australia’s Hottest Ever Year – Government Cold on Action


30 December 2005

Given that Industry Minister Ian McFarlane is yet to concede that Climate Change is happening, it is not surprising he does not think strong action is needed to avoid it.

This explains his tired old rhetoric that the Kyoto Protocol has failed.

Having said the Kyoto Protocol would not come into force, then argued that this month’s Montreal Climate Summit would see Kyoto collapse, the Howard Government now insists Kyoto has failed. The Government has been proven wrong, wrong and wrong.

The Howard Government is frozen in time while the world warms around it.

The emergence of the Kyoto Protocol’s massive carbon trading market means there is a mechanism in place to ensure clean energy technology, energy efficiency and other greenhouse friendly activities are not just talked about, but do become a reality.

The Montreal Climate Change Summit was a huge success and is a significant step forward in the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change.

The Summit unanimously approved the rules governing the Protocol and agreed to extend its operation beyond 2012. 157 countries have now ratified the Kyoto Protocol. In the developed world only Australia and the United States remain isolated from the international consensus.

The course for future action is now clear. Mandatory fixed targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions over an extended timetable, with economic instruments driving the policy outcomes.

The Asia Pacific Climate Pact is positive but limited. It is one of many multilateral forums meeting to discuss clean technology and in its vision statement it declares it will complement the Kyoto Protocol. Perhaps Minister McFarlane is ignorant of the fact that 4 of the 6 participants – China, Japan, South Korea and India have all ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

2005 is the hottest year on record. Emissions rose by 23.3% between 1990 and 2003. 2006 must be a year of real action, not just talk. Australia must ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Our failure to ratify Kyoto is damaging our credibility to argue for international action on other environmental issues such as the need to stop the slaughter of whales.