Mar 15, 2006

Extinction Crisis Demands Action on Climate Change

Extinction Crisis Demands Action on Climate Change

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

15 March 2006

Today’s warning from a leading international scientist that we’re facing the largest mass extinction in 65 million years should be a wake up call for action on climate change.

Australia is facing an extinction crisis. Since 1994, there’s been a 39% increase in the number of threatened terrestrial birds and mammals in Australia.

Climate change will worsen this extinction crisis, threatening our unique plant and animal species from the Great Barrier Reef to the unique biodiversity of southwest Australia.

Professor Norman Myers of Oxford University told the National Press Club today that Australia’s conservation efforts would be “brought to nought” unless we tackled climate change.

Once you accept climate change is real you have to accept responsibility to act. Labor has a comprehensive plan to avoid dangerous climate change. The Howard Government is complacent and has no strategy to address Australia’s sky-rocketing greenhouse emissions.

A Beazley Labor government will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, establish a national emissions trading scheme, substantially increase the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target and work towards a long-term national target of 60% cuts to Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 2050. Labor will also take urgent, practical steps to improve energy efficiency.

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

Labor’s policies are in tune with the world, while John Howard is complacent about climate change.