May 16, 2005

Senate slams Howard’s energy white elephant

Senate slams Howard’s energy white elephant

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 16 May 2005

The Howard Government’s Energy White Paper is an energy white elephant.

The Senate Inquiry into the Energy White Paper has concluded the Energy White Paper will delay critical action on climate change for another twenty years.

The Senate Inquiry report shines a light on John Howard’s failure to act on climate change. The report says the Energy White Paper:

• Is a blueprint for delay in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and will be directly responsible for the high cost to future generations of Australians – environmentally and economically.

• Fails to accept climate change has already begun and therefore action to reduce emissions must be taken immediately.

• Lacks an effective plan to cut greenhouse pollution, a long term target to boost renewable energy or a long term plan to control the spiralling pollution from the energy or transport sectors.

The Howard Government has slammed the door shut on any action to cut greenhouse pollution. It refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. It refuses to introduce emissions trading. It refuses to increase its renewable energy target and it refuses to set a national greenhouse pollution reduction target.

The Howard Government is ignoring the threat to our nation’s economy, health and environmental infrastructure posed by global warming and climate change.

The abolition of the Australian Greenhouse Office in the Budget is symbolic of the Howard Government’s complacency.

The Howard Government’s head in the sand approach to climate change isolates us from the economic opportunities arising from emissions trading, renewable energy and the massive emerging market in environmental products and engineering in our region.

The Senate Inquiry report is a reminder of the complacency of the Howard Government.

Labor will actively consider its recommendations in developing our future response to climate change.