Jan 5, 2006

Pacific welcomes Labor’s Climate Change Strategy

Pacific welcomes Labor’s Climate Change Strategy

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP –

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water; and

Bob Sercombe MP –

Shadow Minister for Pacific Island Affairs and Overseas Aid

5 January 2006

Labor’s comprehensive Pacific Climate Change Strategy has been welcomed in the Pacific and Australia.

“Tuvalu does support the development of new policies that support the Pacific by any future Australian government. I welcome the ALP’s intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol,” said the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Mr Maatia Toafa.

"The proposals in the ALP policy document are very much in line with the Marshall Islands thinking,” said the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, Mr Gerald Zachios.

“It is very welcome news that Bob Sercombe plans to pursue the proposals made in the policy document. For example, the proposals on training, and strategies to deal with repatriation from islands affected by rising sea levels, are strongly supported,” concluded Mr Zachios.

“The specific proposals are at the cutting edge of current debate about the Pacific and an ethical response by Australia to the pressing issue of global warming… they are forward thinking and proactive. The need to support our neighbours should be obvious to all,” said Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth.

“Australia is becoming increasingly isolated in the global community over the question of a collective response to the threat of climate change. The strong emphasis in this paper on re-establishing Australia as a driving force for positive change in our region is warmly welcomed by Friends of the Earth Australia and, we would expect, all Australians concerned about environmental sustainability and human rights,” said Mr Walker.

“This new policy is timely and appropriate,” said Cate Morriss from the Pacific Islands Political Studies Association.

“We are gratified by the support we have received. It just shows what is possible when Australia works with the Pacific in a spirit of partnership. Labor rejects the Howard government’s heavy-handed approach to the Pacific,” said Bob Sercombe, Shadow Minister for Overseas Aid and Pacific Island Affairs.

“The support we have received just shows how important it is for Australia to be a leader on climate change issues,” said Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage and Water.