Oct 23, 2006

Only Government Change will address Climate Change

Only Government Change will address Climate Change

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

THE HON KIM C BEAZLEY MP

23 October 2006

Only a Beazley Labor Government will take the practical measures Australia needs to protect our nation’s future from dangerous climate change.

The Climate Institute’s five-point plan on climate change released today may as well be five points on why John Howard is not the man to tackle climate change.

John Howard is a climate change sceptic. He is a tricky politician throwing scraps of taxpayers’ money at a political crisis, but not taking the tough decisions to solve Australia’s climate change crisis.

Mr Howard refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and wants nuclear reactors to solve climate change. He refuses to understand that we cannot solve our water crisis without addressing climate change.

A man obsessed with the past cannot address this crucial issue for Australia’s future. Tackling climate change is a modern agenda Mr Howard does not believe or understand.

In my Climate Change Blueprint, released earlier this year, I put forward responsible, long-term plans on how a Beazley Labor Government will address dangerous climate change.

A Beazley Labor Government will:

· Ratify the Kyoto Protocol;

· Deliver a national target of 60 per cent cuts in Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 2050;

· Establish a national greenhouse emissions trading scheme;

· Turn Australia’s ten thousand public schools into solar schools;

· Take up to $2000 off the price of existing alternative fuel vehicles;

· Significantly increase the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target.

This is the clear choice Australians now have on who is best to tackle climate change and protect the future. Mr Howard and his nuclear reactors, or me ratifying Kyoto, setting and achieving real targets, harnessing solar and wind power. Mr Howard’s reactors or my renewables.

A Beazley Labor Government will also:

· Consider expanding the First Home Owners’ Grant with top-up grants for improving the energy rating of the home;

· Work with all levels of government to make five star energy efficiency mandatory for new homes;

· Work with energy utilities to establish plans to encourage householders to cut energy use, for example utility companies could finance a solar water heater, with it paid off by users through the electricity bill.

For the sake of our future, Australia needs a comprehensive strategy to address climate change – my Climate Change Blueprint. Only government change will address climate change.