Jun 20, 2005

Kyoto Bill has 2nd Reading in Parliament

Kyoto Bill has 2nd Reading in Parliament

MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 20 June 2005

National leadership is needed to avoid dangerous climate change.

The Government should support Labor’s Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (Kyoto Protocol Ratification) Bill 2005 and join the international community in its global effort. The Bill had its Second Reading in Parliament today.

Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases is changing Australia’s climate. The extended four year drought gripping Australia is the most dramatic example of climate change to hit our continent.

John Howard’s decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is stopping new investment in technology which will reduce greenhouse gases, create jobs and move Australia to a cleaner, more secure energy future.

The Kyoto Protocol is an essential first step and shows what can be done when the international community works together. It is a global solution to a global problem. Our isolation on this issue is a national scandal.

Not ratifying Kyoto means Australia cannot contribute to how the world is dealing with the climate crisis. 140 other nations are having a say, but Australia is not.

If passed, this Bill will require the Australian Government to take the following action:

1. Ratify the Kyoto Protocol within 60 days of the commencement of the Act.

2. Ensure Australia meets its greenhouse emission target set out in the Protocol. This is 108% of 1990 levels. Only Iceland has a higher target.

3. The Minister must develop a national climate change action plan setting out our national strategy for meeting our greenhouse emission target.

4. The Minister must establish an Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory and publish these results.

5. The Minister must also develop a framework for involvement in the international trading of carbon. This would include emissions trading and support credits for Clean Development Mechanism projects in developing countries.

If passed, the Bill will enable Australia to enjoy the benefits that flow from meeting our international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.