Jun 28, 2006

Climate change puts the heat on Darwin

Climate change puts the heat on Darwin


28 June 2006

More severe cyclones, storm surges and rising sea levels because of climate change are a direct threat to Darwin and the Northern Territory.

The Northern Territory’s economy and way of life are directly threatened by climate change.

Half of Kakadu’s majestic wetlands will be flooded and wiped off the map if global temperatures rise by a further two degrees, and remote communities could become increasingly isolated through further flooding.

According to the Australian Government’s 2005 Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Report, Darwin and World Heritage areas such as Kakadu and Mary River Catchment are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The wetlands of Kakadu and Mary River are major conservation zones for plants, fish, reptiles and migratory birds.

Kakadu is also a major tourist destination. Tourists spend around $122 million per year at Kakadu, which is critical to the economic health of the Northern Territory.

Research released last year by the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Conservation Foundation shows climate change presents a grave threat to our health.

Urgent action is needed to tackle climate change. That’s why Labor is committed to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, setting a long term target of 60% cuts to Australia’s greenhouse pollution by 2050, and increasing the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target.

Today I am consulting with the Darwin community about the need to avoid dangerous climate change and other environmental challenges.