Apr 6, 2005

Climate meeting sends wake up call to Howard Government

CLIMATE MEETING SENDS WAKE UP CALL TO HOWARD GOVERNMENT

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 6 April 2005

The climate change alarm clock should have woken the Prime Minister from his slumber this morning with yet another international conference calling for urgent action to cut greenhouse pollution.

The Climate Group’s conference, being held in Melbourne today, has heard the atmosphere is warming at a rate not seen for 10 000 years. If no action is taken, the Climate Group believes economic losses from extreme weather will be larger than GDP by 2065.

The Climate Group also believes climate change could claim up to 37% of the world’s species by 2050.

The conference follows the recent release of the groundbreaking Millenium Ecosystem Assessment which found that:

• 60% of global ecosystems are degraded by pollution or overexploitation;

• 20% of corals have been lost in 20 years; and

• extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times the historical norm.

Australians are deeply concerned about climate change and State Governments are taking action. It’s about time the Howard Government woke up.

Just last week, State Governments agreed to establish a national greenhouse emissions trading scheme. They were forced to take the lead because of Federal Government inaction.

The Victorian Government, which is sponsoring the Climate Group conference, today announced a number of important new initiatives to strengthen its Greenhouse Strategy.

But the Prime Minister is still curled up under his doona as Australia’s greenhouse pollution spirals out of control. While he’s dozing, Australia’s greenhouse emissions are projected to increase by 23% by 2020.

Make no mistake, the ALP has heard the alarm bells. We will take action. We will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, introduce emissions trading and support our clean energy industry.