Sep 4, 2006

Statements by Members, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

Statements by Members

Climate Change, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

4 September 2006

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (1.45 p.m.)—Tonight John Howard’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage is hosting a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, the movie about climate change narrated by Al Gore. Unfortunately for the Prime Minister, at a key point in the movie, Al Gore states:

[Is America] going to be left behind as the rest of the world moves forward? There are only two advanced nations in the world that have not ratified Kyoto and we are one of them. The other is Australia.

The inconvenient truth for John Howard is that he has isolated Australia from global action on climate change, increasing the risk of environmental and economic damage to Australia. He should listen to the businesses that are saying it will cost less if we take action now. The Howard government’s wait-and-see approach to climate change is unforgivable.

Younger generations will record those climate sceptics who deny human contribution to climate change as being, at best, misguided. Those who acknowledge the problem of climate change but fail to take serious action will be judged far more severely. I hope that members and senators take the opportunity to see the movie tonight and to pressure the Howard government into changing its position, which has seen emissions rise by a disastrous 25.1 per cent between 1990 and 2004, when land use changes are excluded.

Climate change is cutting water supplies to our cities and agriculture and Australia’s leading businesses are saying that ‘climate change is a major business risk and we need to act now’. There are independent reports and expert advice from CSIRO stating that, if strong action is not taken, Australia is under threat.