Jan 11, 2006

Climate Pact Must Cut Greenhouse Pollution


Media Release – Jenny Macklin MP

Shadow Minister for Education, Training, Science & Research

Federal Member for Jagajaga

11 January 2006

Federal Labor has challenged the Prime Minister to ensure that the Asia Pacific Climate Pact leads to real cuts in global greenhouse pollution.

So far the Howard Government’s response to climate change has been to cross its fingers and hope it will go away.

The Climate Pact conference must not be viewed as an alternative to the Kyoto Protocol which is the main game.

While the agenda of the first meeting of the Asia Pacific Climate Pact addresses some greenhouse gas alleviation mechanisms, the meeting must agree to targets, timetables and price signals that cut greenhouse pollution.

Labor accepts that in order to meet future greenhouse targets, new technology is part of the solution.

The Climate Pact Meeting is a positive forum for promoting international partnerships between Governments and industry in emission reduction mechanisms and the discussion of new technologies.

But it is complementary to the Kyoto process.

Australia and the United States should still sign the Kyoto Protocol and join the other 157 countries which are signatories in establishing a greenhouse emissions trading scheme. The main game remains the Kyoto Protocol.

Four of the six members of the Climate Pact (China, India, Japan and South Korea) have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Only Australia and the United States are on the outside looking in.

In November 2005, China called on Australia and the United States to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible.

Australia continues to miss out on significant economic opportunities by stubbornly refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The truth is the Howard Government is frozen in time while the world warms around it.