Nov 8, 2005

Local Government leads, Howard Government follows on climate change

Local Government leads, Howard Government follows on climate change

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

8 November 2005

Action by all levels of government is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, but in an extraordinary admission today the Minister said local Government leads the federal Government on climate change.

Today, the Minister for the Environment claimed “Australian local governments lead the world when it comes to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.

On 27 October 2005, the Minister stated climate change “is a very serious threat to Australia” and we “need to take urgent action to avoid disaster”.

Such is the Howard Government’s urgency to address the threat of climate change they let local Government lead on the issue.

Local government in Australia deserves congratulations for taking action to reduce climate change. However, this is not enough.

The most significant environmental challenge facing the global community requires strong action and leadership from the Federal Government. It also requires Australia to be part of the global response by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

155 countries around the world have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Australia and the United States are the only industrialised nations not to have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

If Australia did ratify Kyoto we could adapt more quickly to protect ourself against the risks of climate change and avoid the escalating costs of adapting our economy at a later time.

Australia was one of the first to ratify the Montreal Protocol to fix the hole in the ozone, but we’re one of only two industrialised countries not to ratify Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

The Hawke and Keating Government’s decisive action over the hole in the ozone is in stark contrast to the complacency of the Howard Government over climate change.