Feb 16, 2006

Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol Ratification) Legislation


16 February 2006

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (1.56 p.m.)—I move:

That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No. 4, private members business, relating to the Avoiding Dangers Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol Ratification) Bill 2005 being called on forthwith to provide the House with an immediate chance to further debate and vote on the bill in the light of the following reasons:

(1) the fact that today is the first anniversary of the Kyoto protocol coming into effect after being ratified by 158 countries in the EU;

(2) climate change remains the number one environmental challenge facing the global community;

(3) not ratifying the Kyoto protocol means that Australia is restricted from the economic opportunities arising from the global carbon trading market;

(4) not ratifying the Kyoto protocol means that Australian companies will not be able to benefit from the clean development mechanism;

(5) not ratifying the Kyoto protocol means that Australia cannot benefit from the joint implementation mechanism of the protocol;

(6) not ratifying the Kyoto protocol and establishing a national emissions trading scheme means Australian companies cannot minimise the cost of adjusting to a carbon constrained economy;

(7) as Australia is on track to meet our Kyoto protocol target of 108 per cent of 1990 emissions by 2012, there is no logical reason for Australia to remain outside the international framework;

(8) Australia’s ability to influence UN climate change agreements is undermined by our isolationist position—the December 2005 UN Montreal Climate Summit agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012;

(9) international security is advanced through agreements such as the Kyoto protocol, which promote a common purpose; and

(10) climate change is the ultimate intergenerational issue—our response will determine the quality of life of our children and grandchildren.

Mr ALBANESE—I do this because if debate on the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol Ratification) Bill 2005 is not brought on today the matter will drop off the Notice Paper. One of the things that we need to do is make sure that there is appropriate discussion and determination in this parliament. In spite of the rhetoric of those opposite, the Montreal conference agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012. That means that, by Australia being isolated through not being a party to the protocol, we are excluding ourselves from participation

Mr ABBOTT (Warringah —Leader of the House) (1.58 p.m.)—I move: That the member be no longer heard.

Question agreed to.


The SPEAKER—Is the motion seconded?

Ms GEORGE (Throsby) (1.58 p.m.)—I second this very important motion. This is a very critical issue. Today is the first anniversary of the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. Australia stands out in being isolated from the rest of the global community on the No. 1 issue facing the world. As the member for Grayndler pointed out, Australia and the United States alone have refused to ratify the Kyoto protocol; yet, when the issue was first debated, at the time the government talked about Kyoto being a win-win situation.


Mr Hardgrave—Why don’t you put Australia first?

Ms GEORGE—I am putting Australia first. We saw on the Four Corners program recently the extent to which this government is interfering with the objective scientific information that should be available to the whole Australian community about the No. 1 global challenge facing mankind into the future.


The SPEAKER—Order! It being 2 pm, the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 97. The debate may be resumed at a later hour and the member will have leave to continue speaking when the debate is resumed.