Nov 29, 2006

Greenhouse gases soar under Howard’s nuclear plan

Greenhouse gases soar under Howard’s nuclear plan

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

29 November 2006

Australia’s greenhouse pollution will increase 29% by 2050 under John Howard’s plan to build 25 nuclear reactors across Australia.

The Switkowski Report confirms that John Howard’s nuclear power plan will not cut greenhouse gas emissions and is not a plan to avoid dangerous climate change.

The Switkowski Report shows that with 25 nuclear reactors across the nation and the Governments existing programs, such as the Low Emission Technology Fund, Australia’s greenhouse emissions will soar from 558 megatonnes in 2000 to 718 megatonnes in 2050 (page 81).

John Howard’s nuclear plan will take Australia further down the path towards dangerous climate change.

Australia needs to go on a low carbon diet, not on a nuclear binge.

If global greenhouse pollution rose 29% by 2050, the world would probably experience a 4ºC rise in global temperatures.

The CSIRO has warned such a rise in global temperatures would seriously damage Australia’s environment and economy – destroying the Great Barrier Reef, cutting water flows to cities and the Murray Darling Basin by 48%, increasing the bush fire danger across Australia and move the Dengue fever transmission zone down to Brisbane and possibly to Sydney.

The CSIRO and the Stern Review state global emissions must be cut by 60% by 2050 if we are to avoid dangerous climate change, but John Howard’s nuclear power plan takes Australia in the opposite direction.

Sir Nicholas Stern’s Review made very clear that delaying action costs massively more than taking action and that the world only has 10 years in which to act.

Climate change is a serious threat, and posturing about expensive and toxic nuclear energy which is more than 10 years away is a distraction Australia cannot afford.

Nuclear power is more expensive than energy efficiency and renewable technology which is available today. Australia needs to cut its greenhouse pollution now, not in 10 or 20 years time.

John Howard should say where his 25 nuclear reactors and waste dumps will go. Labor supports renewables and clean coal, not nuclear reactors.