May 10, 2006

Budget leaves the climate change bill for our children

Budget leaves the climate change bill for our children


10 May 2006

Climate change is not a threat, it’s a promise.

Ignoring climate change in the Budget could be an expensive mistake by the Treasurer, one our children will have to pick up the bill for.

The Treasurer promised to “make decisions for the future”, but he’s ignoring one of our greatest future challenges.

The only thing we can influence is the degree of climate change, and because the Budget had no initiatives to help avoid dangerous climate change, the risk of harsher impacts is greater.

Climate change is making Australia hotter, the ocean warmer and more acidic, and this directly threatens every city and town’s water supply and the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu. Climate change means we’ll have more category 4 and 5 cyclones.

If climate change is unchecked it will severely damage Australia’s agricultural and tourism industries, while also affecting many Australians with more severe weather events and further water restrictions.

Preventing problems costs less than fixing them – and if you know there’s a problem in the system, it is bad management to ignore it.

By not spending on climate change or renewable energy initiatives in the Budget the cost of adapting to a carbon-constrained future will escalate.

Major corporations and insurance companies now frame their long-term strategies around the impact of climate change, but Peter Costello has never mentioned climate change in a Budget speech.

When our children look back, they will judge the Howard Government very harshly for not taking stronger action to support clean energy and avoid dangerous climate change.