Mar 4, 2005

Howard should clean up Australia’s act and ratify Kyoto


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 4 March 2005

While 500,000 Australians are helping with Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday, the Howard Government should do its bit by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

As the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases, Australia has a special responsibility to take action to stop dangerous climate change and sign the Protocol.

Like Ian Kiernan, I believe climate change is the greatest environmental threat to the world. It is disgraceful the Howard Government won’t ratify the Kyoto Protocol and join the Australian community and our economy to the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change.

Although ordinary Australians are doing their bit, at the national level the Howard Government is letting us down.

There is a huge amount of goodwill in the community to help the environment.

Over the past 15 years Clean Up Australia volunteers have collected more than 196,000 tonnes of rubbish, which adds up to 12,000 semi-trailers of waste. This Sunday, more than 500,000 volunteers across Australia will show they care for their country by joining this fantastic community event.

Clean Up Australia has helped improve Australia’s waterways and I strongly support Clean Up Australia’s new Clean Water Campaign. But there is still a lot more to be done.

According to the National Land and Water Resources Audit, one third of Australian rivers are in extremely poor condition.

Water conservation and climate change are inter-linked issues. We’ve all got to become more focused on these issues, understanding that every one of us has a role to play in helping stem the effects of climate change.

Clean Up Australia Day offers both a vision for a cleaner Australia and a means by which Australians can help achieve this. I’m certain Australians will be out in force again this Sunday because they care about their local environment.

It’s time for the Howard Government to clean up Australia’s act at a national level and ratify the Kyoto Protocol.