Feb 16, 2006

Government stops debate on Kyoto Protocol

Government stops debate on Kyoto Protocol


16 February 2006

The Howard Government has again refused to debate the need for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and be part of the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change.

This means my Private Member’s Bill, the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol Ratification) Bill 2005, will drop off the Notice Paper today – the first anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol coming into effect on 16 February 2005.

There should be debate on ratifying Kyoto because, as Labor’s motion stated:

1) The fact that today is the first anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol coming into effect after being ratified by 158 countries and the European Union;

2) Climate change remains the number one environmental challenge facing the global community;

3) Not ratifying Kyoto means that Australia is restricted from the economic opportunities arising from the global carbon trading market;

4) Not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol means that Australian companies will not be able to benefit from the Clean Development Mechanism provisions contained in the Protocol which are designed to encourage renewable energy projects in developing countries;

5) Not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol means that Australia cannot benefit from the Joint Implementation Mechanism of the Protocol;

6) Not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and establishing a national emissions trading scheme means Australian companies cannot minimise the cost of adjusting to a carbon constrained economy and consumers and businesses risk potentially higher costs of future action;

7) As Australia is on track to meet our Kyoto Protocol target of 108% of 1990 emissions by 2012, there is no logical reason for Australia to remain outside the international framework;

8) Australia’s ability to influence future UN climate change agreements is undermined by our isolationist position. The December 2005 UN Montreal Climate Summit agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012;

9) International security is advanced through agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol which promote a common purpose; and

10) Climate change is the ultimate intergenerational issue. Our response will determine the quality of life of our children and grandchildren.”

I will reintroduce the Bill in the next sitting period.