May 29, 2006

Ratify Kyoto and chase the emission target by playing shots, not blocking

Ratify Kyoto and chase the emission target by playing shots, not blocking

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

29 May 2006

Australia needs to take stronger action now to avoid dangerous climate change and reach the target of 60% cuts in greenhouse emissions by 2050.

Like in one-day cricket, if you’re chasing a big target you need strong batting from the start to avoid having to play wild shots at the end, and usually losing.

Instead of blocking clean energy projects, the Howard Government should support energy efficiency and seize the economic opportunities of the worldwide push to clean, renewable energy.

Labor believes ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is a first and necessary step on the path to achieving the long-term target of 60% cuts in greenhouse emissions by 2050.

By ratifying Kyoto, Australia would protect itself against the risks of climate change and avoid the escalating costs of adapting our economy at a later time.

Labor today re-introduced the “Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (Kyoto Ratification) Bill” as a Private Members Bill. The Bill would require the Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol within 60 days.

The Kyoto Protocol will be the primary international mechanism for tackling climate change for many years, and it is in Australia’s interests we are at the table while its post 2012 details are being negotiated.

Climate change is making Australia hotter, the ocean warmer and it directly threatens our supply of drinking water and the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu. Climate change means Australia will have more category 4 and 5 cyclones.

Australia desperately needs a national climate change strategy.

Last week the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report by the Australian Greenhouse Office stated that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from energy and transport sectors are spiralling.

If reductions in broad-scale land clearing by Queensland and NSW Labor Governments are excluded, Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions increased by 25.1% between 1990 and 2004—one of the most significant increases in the world.