Aug 11, 2005

International rebuke for Howard Government complacency on climate change

International rebuke for Howard Government complacency on climate change

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

11 August 2005

A scathing report released yesterday by the International Energy Agency confirms Australia’s greenhouse pollution is spiralling out of control.

The Report shows that far from avoiding dangerous climate change, the Howard Government is ignoring it.

The Report recognised Australia will meet its Kyoto target mainly through large emission reductions in the land use and forestry sectors by State Labor Governments.

Alarmingly, the Report estimates emissions from Australia’s energy sector will grow by more than 40% from 1990 to 2010, and that Australian CO2 emissions per unit of GDP are 43% above the IEA average.

The IEA Report strongly recommends Australia establish a domestic emissions trading scheme as a tool to reduce emissions in the short term.

The Howard Government has no national climate change strategy despite its own predictions Australia will increase its overall greenhouse pollution by 23% by 2020.

The Asia Pacific Climate pact is not going to fix the problem

The Howard Government is distracted from the significant economic and environmental challenge of climate change by its extreme ideological obsessions.

The Government’s complacency over climate change has left Australia unprepared.

A recent Government report on Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability estimates Australia could be 2ºC hotter by 2030 and 6ºC hotter by 2070. According to the Report, a further 2ºC increase would be devastating for Australia, with more heatwaves and bushfires, extended droughts, reduced rainfall in southern Australia and extensive damage to the Great Barrier Reef.

Instead of confusion and complacency, Australia needs action and it needs it now.

The Howard Government should ratify the Kyoto Protocol, establish a national emissions trading scheme and support our clean energy industry through a strong renewable energy target.