Dec 11, 2005

Landmark Day in Tackling Climate Change

Landmark Day in Tackling Climate Change


11 December 2005

Today is a landmark day in the global effort to avoid dangerous climate change.

The UN climate change summit, which has just ended in Montreal, has given extra life to the Kyoto Protocol and endorsed more than 40 decisions to strengthen global climate change action.

The rules governing the Kyoto Protocol were unanimously approved by the 157 countries meeting for the first time since it came into force on 16 February this year.

The rules provide for trade in greenhouse gas emissions and encourage investment in clean technology in developing countries.

It is clear the world will continue to embrace market based mechanisms in order to drive least cost reductions in emissions. We’ll see the push of new technology, combined with the pull of the market – because on Climate Change we won’t get a second chance.

While the Australian Government participated in broader discussions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, it was not able to join the other 157 Parties in formally determining improvements in the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms.

The Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin, was right when he said:

“We have the potential to make real progress on the whole issue of environmental sanity but for that progress to be meaningful it has to be global…There is no more room for delay or intransigence.”

Australia must now join the rest of the world in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. That is not just in order to be good global citizens.

Given that Australia will meet our Kyoto target due to State Labor Governments stemming of land clearing, it is not in our national interest to lose the significant economic opportunities that would come with ratification.

The Howard Government must also produce a national climate change strategy to cut Australia’s spiralling greenhouse pollution. The horrible truth is Australia’s on track to increase its greenhouse pollution by 23% by 2020. We must reverse that trend.

Anthony Albanese attended the Montreal Summit