Mar 28, 2006

Blair shows the way on climate change – strongly support Kyoto and emission ta

Blair shows the way on climate change – strongly support Kyoto and emission targets and get the USA to engage

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

28 March 2006

Climate change is the number one environmental challenge facing the world.

The United Nation’s Kyoto Protocol is the global framework for action against climate change which 158 countries have ratified.

As Tony Blair stated to Parliament yesterday, there is a need for “a clear, disciplined framework for action, with measurable outcomes”.

That’s why Tony Blair “strongly supports Kyoto”.

Britain has been consistent. UK Environment Minister Margaret Beckett, stated to the Montreal United Nations Climate Conference in December 2005

“Without mechanisms in the form of compulsory action, such as targets to cut emissions, existing and new technologies will never be rolled out on the scale we need. To be absolutely clear: the UK believes voluntary measures can be helpful, but compulsory action is a surer way of delivering results.

That is why the UK is a strong supporter of the Kyoto Protocol.”

Other multilateral initiatives like the G8 climate change action plan and the Asia Pacific Climate Pact explicitly acknowledge that they “complement” the Kyoto Protocol.

Labor believes the Asia Pacific Climate Change Pact is positive but it is not an alternative to Kyoto: above all, it has no economic mechanisms to drive further change.

The challenge for John Howard is to use his influence with the current US President to get America to engage fully with the world on climate change.

Following the successful UN Climate Summit in Montreal, the course for future global action is now clear – targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions over an extended timetable, with economic instruments driving the move to clean energy.

158 countries, including Britain, China and India, have ratified Kyoto and are now discussing the next stage of Kyoto, including how to involve developing countries in its operations.

Australia’s ability to influence the future direction of global climate change agreements is undermined by not being part of the Kyoto discussions.